Vol. 8 No. 16 (2018): Varieties of Professionalism in a Globalising World: New Theoretical Perspectives and Analytical Approaches
Monographic Section

Professions Within, Between and Beyond. Varieties of Professionalism in a Globalising World

Andrea Bellini
Università degli Studi di Firenze
Lara Maestripieri
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Published 2019-03-12


  • professionalism,
  • social change,
  • inequality,
  • market,
  • technology

How to Cite

Bellini, A., & Maestripieri, L. (2019). Professions Within, Between and Beyond. Varieties of Professionalism in a Globalising World. Cambio. Rivista Sulle Trasformazioni Sociali, 8(16), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.13128/cambio-24947


This article introduces the monographic section on the varieties of professionalism in a globalising world. The monographic section aims to explore new theoretical perspectives and analytical approaches in the field of the sociology of professions, by collecting both theoretical and empirical contributions focusing on different professions (either established or emerging ones) and topics, from different geographical regions. In the first part of this introductory article, we discuss professionalism as a concept that needs to be theoretically redefined in the context of post-industrial society after the crisis. For this purpose, we propose to refocus the discourse about professionalism on the process of differentiation and the increasing heterogeneity it is bringing about, within and between professional groups. Additionally, the changed societal conditions imply a changing role for professionals in society, beyond professionalism, which is an area worth being explored. Thus, we outline possible developments of the academic debate in three main analytical dimensions, labelled as within, between and beyond. The second part charts the nine contributions included in the monographic section, while trying to reconduct them to the dimensions mentioned above. Three orders of themes have thus been identified, concerning: (1) the redefinition of the concept of professionalism as a “practice”, highlighting the practicality of the wisdom used by professionals in performing their everyday tasks; (2) the analysis of regulation processes, focusing on what happens when institutions shape professionalism; and (3) the investigation of the dynamics of transnational mobility, in the context of globalisation processes


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