Professionals and Professionalization
PROFESSIONALS AND PROFESSIONALIZATION
James C. Albisetti
The word "profession" in English and its equivalents in the Romance languages originally had a religious connotation, as in "profession of faith." Its second major meaning was occupation or job, what someone does to earn a living, as in the distinction between an amateur and a professional athlete. In the Germanic languages, words such as Beruf in German and beroep in Dutch had similar connotations, combining notions of a religious calling or vocation with a more mundane sense of occupation. Thus all who worked had a profession.
Yet ever since the later Middle Ages, European languages and societies have also distinguished certain professions—especially the clergy, lawyers, and physicians—as distinct from the rest. Such "liberal" professions did not involve production or trade, as manual occupations did. Most of their practitioners obtained advanced education in the liberal arts and in their specialties at universities, although in the case of the English common law, training took place at the Inns of Court, sometimes called the third university in England alongside Oxford and Cambridge.
Throughout the early modern era, from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries, professionals played important but far from leading roles in societies dominated by monarchs and hereditary aristocracies. As will be shown, their authority and autonomy were circumscribed in many ways. English cartoons depicting lawyers as devils and the sharp ridicule that writers such as Molière and Voltaire directed at physicians, and in the latter's case at clergy as well, suggest both the visibility and the limited respect that they enjoyed. From this perspective, the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries emerge as the great age of professionalization, when physicians and lawyers gained significantly in prestige and power, and other groups—engineers, architects, dentists, teachers, accountants, nurses—began to fight for similar positions in society.
The main era of professionalization thus coincided with the transition from an estate-based to a class-based society, where merit and achievement displaced birth as the major pathway to status and influence. Yet the professions occupied an ambiguous place in the classic examinations of the rise of the middle classes in this era. Adam Smith considered them to do "unproductive labor," and Karl Marx's definition of classes according to their relationship to the means of production also left professionals in an uncertain position. Many professionals themselves, with a devotion to avowedly unpractical classical education and a frequently expressed disdain for "materialism," did not identify themselves closely with merchants and industrialists. Such distinctions have led many German scholars to divide the middle class into two groups, the educated and the economic bourgeoisie (Bildungs- und Wirtschaftsbürgertum).
Modern scholarly attention to the professions as a whole began with sociologists rather than historians; the most influential work has probably been that of Magali Sarfatti Larson. Sociologists tended to build their models and theories of the professions primarily on the experience of lawyers and physicians in England and the United States. A composite picture drawn from such works would suggest that a profession is a full-time occupation that brings high status and a comfortable if not magnificent income. It is based on formal training in a field of specialized knowledge that is confirmed by some type of certification. The professional provides services to clients, not products to customers, and earns fees or even honoraria rather than wages or a salary. Members of a profession follow a code of professional ethics, policed by associations of professionals rather than the state or some other outside body. Larson herself suggested that such professional associations also try to constitute and control the market for their members' services, especially in limiting competition from uncertified practitioners.
Occupations striving to achieve such professional status thus pursue collective rather than individual mobility in what has been called a "professionalization project." Such projects often involve the aspiration to reach, or not to fall behind, the condition of another profession (or of the same one in another country), as several examples from Germany in the late nineteenth century illustrate. In 1878 architects in the civil service opposed the admission of graduates of nonclassical secondary schools to their ranks because they would be at a disadvantage vis-à-vis classically trained civil servants with law degrees. For many years the German Physicians' Association resisted admission of young men with Latin but not Greek, and of women, to the study of medicine because such a step would lower their prestige compared to lawyers. Secondary-school teachers fought for many years, and ultimately obtained in 1909, equal pay with judges in the civil service who had university training of equivalent length. A Protestant Pastors' Association in the Prussian state church, founded in 1892, sought pay scales equal to those of secondary teachers for the same reason.
Larson's analysis contains elements of both the benevolent and the conspiratorial interpretations of professionalization that exist throughout the scholarly literature. On the one hand, the process appears as the victory of expertise, honesty, or even disinterested service over incompetence, fraud, and quackery. On the other, it involves the establishment of monopoly, exclusion of nonprofessionals, and limitation of choice for the public. Whether a regulation such as the establishment in 1858 of a Medical Register of all medical practitioners in England did more to protect the public from incompetents or to protect those on the Register from competition is an open question. Given the frequency with which professional associations tried to limit numbers through increased educational requirements, in the long run monopoly and expertise may well have worked together.
Historians and sociologists have offered various criticisms of this functionalist model of professions. One is that it treats the professional as defined by his—rarely her—work, to the exclusion of concerns of religion, ethnicity, gender, age, or region. It also views members of professions primarily as united in common aims rather than as competing with each other for clients or divided between elites and ordinary practitioners. It ignores ethnic and religious divisions within a profession, an issue of great significance in central and eastern Europe, where, for example, the creation of a Czech-language university in Prague in 1883 alongside the venerable German one reflected divisions in the professions and the population at large. In Hungary as of 1910, 49 percent of doctors, 45 percent of lawyers, and 39 percent of engineers were Jewish, a situation that tended more to divide than to unite the professions.
Another broad criticism of the functionalist model is its too narrow focus on the individual physician or lawyer in practice for himself. Not only does this focus exclude from consideration the clergy and military, which generally operate in hierarchical organizations separate from the market, but from the perspective of all of continental Europe it seriously underplays the role of the state in the certification, regulation, and even employment of professionals. Among the most striking examples are the creation of a new legal profession in Russia by decree in 1864 and the establishment of almost all the professions after 1878 in the newly independent Bulgaria, a country that had no university for the first ten years of its existence. Some German scholars have suggested the term "professionalization from above" to distinguish this process from the "projects" of existing occupational groups. Others, accepting the Anglo-American view of the free professional, have even argued that German academic Berufen in which large numbers of practitioners were state employees should not be considered as professions; they often speak of a process of Berufskonstruktion rather than professionalization. An inclusive view of learned professions needs to take into account their relations not only with clients but also with the state and with the universities, the transmitters and discoverers of the knowledge on which professional expertise relies.
THE EARLY MODERN PERIOD
In this era, the Christian clergy in Europe possessed some characteristics of a modern profession, even though in many countries it remained a separate "estate." Priests and pastors, at least in theory, possessed special knowledge and some form of certification; they performed services such as baptism, marriage, and distribution of communion that others could not. The Protestant Reformation, of course, fragmented the clergy, though many regions retained a high level of religious homogeneity. The Lutheran doctrine of the priesthood of all believers, along with translations of the Bible into vernacular languages, reduced to a degree the special expertise of pastors. The rise of dissident sects and even itinerant preachers also undermined the clergy's monopoly.
The hierarchical structure of the established churches, whether Catholic, Orthodox, or Protestant, meant that the individual priest or pastor had a very different relation to colleagues than does a member of a modern professional association. The extent to which prominent positions (or sinecures), especially in the Catholic Church, remained in the hands of younger sons of royal or noble families suggests how small a role academic merit played. The dependence for appointments on patrons, or in the case of dissenting sects on the congregations themselves, meant clergymen had little self-regulating autonomy. As late as 1835, private individuals controlled appointments to 48 percent of the livings in the Church of England, bishops 12 percent, the Crown 9 percent, and various institutions, especially the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, the remaining 31 percent.
Lawyers in early modern Europe had more characteristics of a modern profession, although they certainly did not have a monopoly of legal business or the administration of justice. The extreme case was Russia, where until 1864 there were no formal requirements for judges, court clerks, prosecutors, or attorneys, although the state did employ officials with legal training. Farther west, in many areas nobles administered justice on their own estates, royal servants without legal training controlled some courts, and churches ran others.
Most of Europe witnessed the development of a two- or three-tiered system of legal practitioners in the early modern era. Holders of law degrees, or in England those barristers admitted to the "bar" by the Inns of Court, established a monopoly over verbal pleading in court and some forms of legal advice. On the Continent these lawyers were known by such terms as avocat, abogado, avvocato, Advokat, or Anwalt. Below them in prestige was a second group, trained primarily through apprenticeship rather than formal schooling, men who were experts in procedure and expedited—or deliberately delayed—the progress of cases through the courts. The procureur, procurador, procuratore, or Prokurator was more often an officer of the court than the representative of a client, in contrast to the English solicitor, who also trained through apprenticeship. The solicitador also existed in Spain, although with no formal requirements. By the late eighteenth century, Prussia and much of Switzerland had moved toward a single type of attorney, abandoning these distinct levels.
Lenard Berlanstein's study of lawyers in the region of Toulouse during the eighteenth century suggests the high level of self-recruitment in the legal profession, as well as the social distinctions between its levels. Thirty-one percent of avocats were sons of avocats, and a similar percentage of procureurs were sons of procureurs. Whereas no son of an avocat had entered the lower branch, about 11 percent of avocats were upwardly mobile sons of procureurs.
Notaries or scriveners also performed significant amounts of legal business, especially creation and verification of documents in societies with low rates of literacy. They also trained by apprenticeship. The Company of Scriveners in London claimed a monopoly over conveyancing, or legal transfer of property, from the early 1600s until the mid-1700s, when solicitors, newly organized as the Society of Gentlemen Practisers, succeeded in breaking the guild's monopoly, an early example of a professionalization project aimed at enlarging the market for attorneys' services.
Physicians in early modern Europe enjoyed less of a monopoly than did lawyers, confronting as they did a wide variety of barber-surgeons, herbalists, mid-wives, and other purveyors of cures, at least some of whom could claim as much therapeutic success as physicians. Medicine functioned more like a trade than did law, which helps to explain why many fewer nobles undertook its study than obtained at least some legal training. For many physicians, the practice of medicine was not a full-time occupation, if only because it did not provide a comfortable income. Those fortunate enough to serve a monarch or wealthy noble ended up in a client-patron relationship far removed from the ideal of the autonomous professional.
As in the legal profession, medicine had several types of practitioners. Physicians, usually with a university degree, dealt primarily with internal diseases; they alone were supposed to prescribe medicine. Surgeons, who generally learned through apprenticeship, treated external wounds and infections and might set broken bones, thus engaging in manual work that physicians avoided. In rural areas, such surgeons were often the only medical practitioners available. Apothecaries dispensed, but were not supposed to prescribe, medicine. In England these three different groups developed as the Royal College of Physicians, the Company (later College) of Surgeons, and the Society of Apothecaries. Yet by the early nineteenth century such divisions were breaking down; what became the British Medical Association had its origins in a movement of "general practitioners" who possessed multiple qualifications.
During the eighteenth century, Dutch and Scottish universities were leading centers of innovative medical education. Between 1750 and 1800 Scottish medical schools graduated about twenty-six hundred physicians, ten times the production of Oxford and Cambridge. On the Continent, advances in practical medicine also emerged from institutions established to train army surgeons, such as the Joseph Akademie founded in Vienna in the 1780s and the Pepinière established in Berlin a decade later.
The "profession of arms" in this era was a profession only in a loose sense. Most officer corps were dominated by, and some were restricted to, aristocrats and upper gentry. In England, officers' commissions could be purchased as late as 1870. Although all officers underwent special training, formal educational requirements developed most consistently in the less prestigious engineering and artillery branches. When England opened an artillery school at Woolwich in 1741, it was the last major power to do so.
By the late eighteenth century, lawyers, physicians, and clergymen certainly enjoyed a reasonable amount of prestige on the basis of their specialized training and their social functions. Yet in societies that were still predominantly agricultural and where members of the nobility still dominated politics and patronage, they had neither the status nor the autonomy that many of their successors in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries would seek, and that some would obtain.
THE MODERN ERA
In the modern era, political upheavals often provided the opportunity or the necessity to restructure the professions. Most drastic was the dismantling of the legal and medical professions in 1791 by the revolutionary French government, hostile as it was to special social privileges and to symbols of the Old Regime. In the course of the nineteenth century, the unifications of Italy and Germany, the Compromise of 1867 that resulted in the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy, the great reforms in Russia after the Crimean War, and even the new Swiss constitution of 1874 brought important changes to the professions. That so many of these changes occurred during the great age of laissez-faire liberalism, when guild restrictions and legal discrimination on the basis of religion disappeared from much of Europe, led to intriguing conflicts between defenders of freedom of occupation and professionals interested in control over the market for their services.
In the first decade of the nineteenth century, Napoleon recreated professions of certified lawyers and physicians in France. The reform of the legal profession established orders of avocats who controlled the admission of degree holders to practice through a system of apprenticeship and the swearing of an oath. They also enforced professional ethics, but the orders had no control over the number of students graduating from the legal faculties. The new system again included a second tier of attorneys, now known as avoués, who, though still tied to particular courts, came to represent clients more like the English solicitors. With some modifications, this system also had lasting influence in areas that had been parts of Napoleon's French empire, including the later independent Belgium, German territory west of the Rhine River, and northern Italy.
When Russia created a legal profession separate from the state service in 1864, it adopted a mixture of Western models. It took from Prussia the single-tier or fused profession, from France and England the idea of councils of the bar to regulate the profession, especially apprenticeship after the degree. For many years, however, such councils existed in only a few major cities. Shortages of trained lawyers also led to establishment of other classes of attorneys with lesser qualifications and fewer privileges. Quotas limiting the number of Jews admitted to the bar, introduced by Alexander III, forced many Jewish attorneys to remain in the lower categories, whatever their qualifications.
The Austrian and Hungarian halves of the Dual Monarchy adopted new regulations for the legal profession in 1868 and 1874, respectively. Both lifted restrictions on the number of attorneys admitted to practice and provided for creation of lawyers' chambers. Whereas the Hungarian regulations imitated the French system of having the chambers control admission to practice, Austria retained state examinations as the crucial determinant. In imperial Germany, new regulations introduced in 1878 brought the single-tier profession to all of the country and also established lawyers' chambers with disciplinary powers. Yet the German lawyers' chambers did not have control over entrance to the profession, and graduates intending to enter private practice still did the large majority of their apprenticeship in the civil service.
The Swiss constitution of 1874 allowed the individual cantons to decide whether to require a proof of competence for professionals. Shortly thereafter, several cantons abolished the "lawyers' monopoly" over pleading in court, in the case of Zurich allowing anyone with full citizenship rights to do so. Court decisions in the case of Emilie Kempin-Spyri later clarified that a woman, even with a law degree, did not possess such rights and could not plead. A referendum in the canton of Zurich in 1898 reversed both decisions, re-creating a closed bar and granting women access to it. In the late nineteenth century only Sweden had as open a bar as did these Swiss cantons.
When Napoleon reestablished certification for physicians in 1803, he did so without creating any corporate body like the orders of lawyers; university degrees sufficed for admission to practice. Nineteenth-century France also possessed lower-level medical practitioners known as officiers de santé, or officers of health, in essence replacements for the Old Regime's surgeons. Other countries also continued to have similar less thoroughly trained medical personnel. Prussia, however, eliminated its schools for such surgeons around 1850; Austria followed suit by 1871, closing even the Joseph Akademie. France eliminated the officers of health in 1892. That their Russian equivalents, known as the feldsher, continued to exist until after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 suggests the continuing shortage of trained physicians in rural Russia.
Perhaps the most controversial regulation of the medical profession was that enacted in 1869 by the North German Confederation and extended to the southern German states after unification in 1871. This regulation took place in the context of a new Commercial Code (Gewerbe Ordnung), and thus treated medicine as a trade. The new rules did establish a uniform four-year university course for prospective physicians and freed practitioners from an earlier requirement that they had to treat all patients who came to them. Yet in accord with the Commercial Code's general support for freedom of occupation, it allowed anyone to practice the "healing arts," within some limits, as long as he or she did not claim to be a certified physician. Many physicians would later consider their inclusion under the code as humiliating and its regulations an invitation to quackery.
Physicians' chambers with some disciplinary powers were established in Prussia in 1887, Austria in 1891, and Italy in 1910. These bodies did not control entry into the profession, however, as some lawyers' chambers did. Corporate groups of English physicians, even after the creation of a General Medical Council in 1858, had more control over entry than did most of their continental colleagues.
The percentage of physicians in private practice tended to decrease as one moved from west to east. Even in England, some were employed by Poor Law Unions to treat the destitute. Many Italian cities employed physicians for similar purposes; in 1876, Hungary mandated that towns hire physicians for the poor. A significant number of doctors in Russia worked for the local government boards, or zemstva. In Bulgaria as of 1910 only 20 percent of physicians were in private practice.
The development of health and disability insurance for workers, beginning in Germany in the 1880s, had mixed consequences for the professional position of physicians. It brought them more patients as workers had to visit them for verification of claims, but it also subordinated them to insurance boards that were often dominated by workers. The issue of whether insurance boards could dictate which physicians their patients had to use even led to very "unprofessional" behavior by German physicians—a series of strikes in several cities in the 1900s.
As mentioned above, the nineteenth century witnessed drives for professional status by several new occupations. A common feature was a transition from on-the-job training or apprenticeship to formal academic culture, what in the history of engineering has been called a shift from "shop culture" to "school culture." Such academic training seldom took place in the established universities; when it did, as sometimes happened with dentistry and pharmacy, entrance requirements could be lower and the course of study shorter than for traditional fields. More typical was the experience in Sweden, which founded outside its universities new technical colleges, schools of business, an agricultural college, and institutes for forestry, veterinary science, social work, and dentistry. The establishment of a chair in engineering at Cambridge University in 1875 was an unusual step; even there, no engineering laboratory existed until 1894.
Engineering and teaching can illustrate some of the issues involved in professionalization of the less traditional occupations. In the eighteenth century some monarchs had created corps of royal servants trained in technical fields, such as the graduates of the French École des Ponts et Chaussées (school for bridges and roads) founded in 1747 and those of a school of mines opened in 1783. In this area the French Revolution did not break with the traditions of the Old Regime; in 1795, it added the École Polytechnique, which in the course of the nineteenth century became more prestigious than the medical or legal faculties in France. Yet even this elite institution provided a striking example of the sense of inferiority associated with "practical" studies when in the 1850s it began to award extra points on its notoriously competitive entrance examination to boys who had obtained the baccalauréat, or classical secondary diploma, that was a requirement for lawyers, physicians, and secondary teachers.
Apart from elite groups like the Polytechniciens, engineers often struggled to establish a clear professional identity and a controlled field of activity. An engineer could be an entrepreneur or an employee; and whatever his training, it was often difficult to say what an engineer did that an architect, builder, or skilled mechanic could not do. England saw the creation of a Society of Civil Engineers as early as 1771 and even a royal charter for an Institute of Civil Engineers in 1828; yet the first examinations to certify engineers did not take place until 1898. In Italy, only with the creation of a national register of engineers in 1922 were some official functions as inspectors reserved to those so recognized. Licensing of engineers came to Hungary in 1923.
In the field of education, teachers in boys' secondary schools gained general recognition as professionals in the nineteenth century, even though most were salaried employees, often of the state. Graduation from a university became the normal preparation, to which many countries added some form of pedagogical training and/or practice teaching. England, where secondary education enjoyed the greatest autonomy from the state, was an exception; headmasters of private schools resisted the notion that their teachers (or they themselves) needed attestation of pedagogical competence.
Elementary teachers often organized earlier and more comprehensively than did those in secondary education, yet their professionalization projects usually fell short of the desired success. Lacking university education and often from distinctly lower socioeconomic backgrounds than other nineteenth-century professionals, elementary teachers could not claim the income or prestige of the learned professions. Their work with children replicated what all parents did, thus did not appear to be based on any special skills, a perception reinforced by the high rate of turnover among them. Both a result and a cause of the continuing low status of elementary teachers was that many of them were women or even teenaged girls.
WOMEN AND THE PROFESSIONS
Throughout most of modern European history the liberal professions have been male preserves. In medicine the advance of professional monopoly in the nineteenth century involved the exclusion of women from some areas, especially assistance at childbirth. The development of obstetrics and gynecology tended to bring the physician rather than the midwife to the aid of women in labor.
Sociologists often speak of the "typing" of certain occupations as "women's work" and of the "tipping" of an occupation in that direction once women reach a certain percentage of those working in a field. Among the less prestigious professions in modern European history, nursing is an example of the former phenomenon, elementary school teaching of the latter. Nursing proved particularly difficult to professionalize, for several reasons. Well into the nineteenth century most nursing was little more than custodial work performed by women of the lower classes. An alternative model developed as members of Catholic orders or Protestant deaconesses devoted themselves to care of the sick, but this made nursing appear as a charitable activity more than a skilled profession. The example of Florence Nightingale and the development of the Red Cross from the 1860s helped make nursing a more respectable occupation with formal training. A British Nurses' Association formed in 1888 to push for a professional register like that existing for physicians, an idea opposed by Nightingale. Legislation authorizing such a register did not pass until 1919, with the register itself being created in 1925.
Women had served as teachers throughout the early modern period, though most often in family settings or small, private "dame schools" that taught young children. From the late sixteenth century Catholic teaching orders such as the Ursulines ran both boarding and day schools for girls. Beginning in the early nineteenth century, formal training and certification of young women to teach in the burgeoning public elementary schools spread across Europe. The rate and degree of feminization of the teaching profession, however, were far from uniform. Around 1900, the proportion of elementary school teachers who were women varied from about 20 percent in Germany to nearly 75 percent in both England and Russia. Such women had less professional autonomy than did their male colleagues, being subjected at various times to marriage bans and often paid noticeably less for the same work. That many women teachers left after a few years to get married reinforced the idea that elementary teaching was not a professional career.
Secondary schooling in Europe remained overwhelmingly single-sex until the 1960s and 1970s, except in the Soviet Union and its satellites. Women secondary teachers long remained restricted to teaching girls. Yet even in this area, practices varied widely. Men had virtually disappeared from girls' secondary schools in England by the 1890s, and in France few men taught on a full-time basis in such schools. In Austria and Russia at that time, however, girls' schools tended to employ women only in the lower grades or in language, music, and sewing classes.
The struggles of women to gain access to the medical profession have been well documented by Thomas Bonner. Broad interest in the admission of women to medical study and practice emerged in much of Europe during the 1860s, when the "woman question" became a hotly debated topic. The University of Zurich, founded only in 1834, gave the first modern medical degree to a woman, the Russian Nadezhda Suslova, in 1867. By the turn of the century women had gained access to practice across the continent. In England and Russia, medical training took place mostly in single-sex environments, but elsewhere women gained admission to existing universities.
Supporters of women physicians often argued that they were needed to protect the modesty of female patients, and many of the pioneers specialized in obstetrics and pediatrics. In the struggle for admission of women to the legal profession, however, arguments about a special need for female lawyers or about special female talents for the law played a much smaller role. That demands for access to the bar rested so squarely on doctrines of equal rights may well have contributed to the fact that in every European country admission of women to the legal profession trailed their admission to medicine. Success came in some areas—the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, France, and some Swiss cantons—around the turn of the century. In most of the rest of Europe, women gained access to the bar in the years after World War I. Two holdouts were Hungary and Bulgaria, which did not allow female attorneys until after World War II.
Professionals can lose as well as gain status, income, control of the market, and autonomy. Over the last two centuries, the process of professionalization has undergone a variety of reversals. The decline of the clergy from its position as first estate of the realm to a profession ignored, if still granted respect, by large segments of the population is the most obvious long-term example. The abolition of the legal and medical professions during the French Revolution was a much more radical, if less enduring, eradication of professional status and privilege. The lay competition for doctors allowed under the German Commercial Code of 1869 and that for lawyers in the canton of Zurich under the Swiss constitution of 1874 serve as examples of loss of control of the market for services. Oversupplies of new entrants to the professions, whether caused by booming university enrollments or, as in Hungary after 1919, by the migration of professionals from lost territories, have devalued credentials for many. Legislation mandating the admission of women to the legal profession, which proved necessary everywhere but the Netherlands, amounted to a partial loss of control over entrance by the bar associations and lawyers' chambers.
Authoritarian governments in the nineteenth century often made it difficult or impossible for trained professionals to form associations. In the twentieth century, dictatorships have overturned status hierarchies and undermined or abolished professional autonomy in many ways. Perhaps the most insidious occurred in the first months of the Third Reich, when the Nazi regime issued decrees aimed at "restoration" of, and prevention of overcrowding in, the civil service. Under the guise of restoring prestige and limiting competition, the Nazi state expelled communists, socialists, Jews, and women from positions in the civil service, professions, and universities. Although such measures may have been in line with the professionalization project of German nationalist male professionals, these decrees also obliterated any notion of professional autonomy as it had been conceived in the nineteenth century.
In the late twentieth century, two less blatant processes eroded older ideas of the professions in other ways. One is the decline, especially in medicine and law, of the individual practitioner who for many formed the model of the professional. Members of large law or engineering firms, or physicians in group practice, continue to have advanced training and certification, but they have often become employees as much as autonomous professionals. The second process has been the proliferation of academic credentials in an age of mass higher education, which has led to more and more occupations claiming professional status, not all of which can enjoy significant prestige. Important as well has been the devaluation of the concept of a professional itself. When a German hotel advertises the availability of a "state-certified masseur" and German automobile manufacturers show "professional drivers" on their test tracks, it appears that the twenty-first century may see a return to the earlier meaning of the word as any occupation.
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