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The importance and influence of professions in public life has grown increasingly over the twentieth century but the question of whether they subordinate their own self-interests to the public interest has yet to be adequately researched within a major sociological perspective. In Professions and the Public Interest Mike Saks develops a theoretical and methodological framework for assessing professional groups in Western society. The empirical applicability of this framework is demonstrated with particular reference to a novel case study of the response of the medical profession to acupuncture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Professions and the Public Interest will be of great interest to all lecturers and students of social policy, sociology, and medical sociology as well as to professional groups and their members.
|Pt. I||Sociology, professions and the public interest: a research framework|
|1||The sociology of professions and the professional altruism ideal: a critical review||11|
|2||The development of a viable conception of the public interest||35|
|3||The role of professions: power, interests and causality||71|
|Pt. II||An empirical application: the response of the medical profession to acupuncture in Britain|
|4||Alternative medicine: the case of acupuncture||103|
|5||Potential explanations for the rejection of acupuncture in Britain||140|
|6||Acupuncture and British medicine: the influence of professional power and interests||185|
|7||The medical reception of acupuncture in Britain: professional ideologies and the public interest||229|