Professions, Hybrid Professionalism and Internal Stratification

Tracey Adams, University of Western Ontario

Traditionally, professions have been seen to possess considerable internal unity and homogeneity (Larson 1977); however research has identified emerging divisions within professions across organizational roles and demographic characteristics (Freidson 1994; Coburn et al., 1997; Noorderaaf 2013).  This paper explores internal stratification and segmentation within professions through a case study of the engineering profession in Canada.  It expands on previous research in this area by exploring internal class differences within the engineering profession, and the impact of these differences on professional attitudes and goals.  Do professional managers have a different outlook than rank and file members of professions?  Or is the major divide between professional owners and employees?  Drawing on the Canadian Workplaces in the Knowledge Economy (CWKE) survey of Canadian engineers, I explore differences among engineers in their attitudes to a range of professional issues and concerns by organizational position, class, gender, and race. These data promise to shed new light on stratification within Canadian professions, and their potential impact.

This paper will be presented at the following session: