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Pre-print version of "Changing Professional Status in Evolving Professional Systems: Towards using a Descriptive Lens to Analyse Multi-layered Transformation Processes" [r-libre/3233]

Bédard, Jean-Luc; Massana Macià, Marta, & Groulx, Christophe (2023). Pre-print version of "Changing Professional Status in Evolving Professional Systems: Towards using a Descriptive Lens to Analyse Multi-layered Transformation Processes". In Maestripieri, Lara, & Bellini, Andrea (Ed.), Professionalism and Social Change. Processes of differentiation Within, Between and Beyond Professions (p. 145-165). Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-3-031-31277-9 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-31278-6_7

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Item Type: Book Sections
Refereed: Yes
Status: Published
Abstract: Chapter 7 “Changing professional status in evolving professional systems: towards a descriptive lens to analyze multi-layered transformation processes”, by J.-L. Bédard, M. Massana Macia and C. Groulx, explores the movement of foreign-trained professionals (FTPs) across borders and jurisdictions. The case of engineers and physicians who have moved to Canada is taken up. The case governed mostly by public institutions (physicians) is compared to that of workers in private organizations (engineers). These cases have benefited from specific mobility facilitation through Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) between France and Quebec since 2011. These MRAs constitute innovative devices (legal and jurisdictional) that aim to facilitate transnational mobility among regulated professions. How does the implementation of MRAs facilitate entering into professional practice in the context of local professional systems? In other words, how do the objectives of the MRAs translate into and produce results in local applications involving the collaboration of various local institutions? Also, how do these processes vary for a regulated profession, under control of the State or the private sector? Furthermore, what are the logics and rationales invoked by the various institutions to enact changes allowing for entry into professional practice of these newcomers? Data (interviews and official documentation) collected through research projects conducted between 2013 and 2018 are used to examine entry into the professional practices of FTPs from France. The analysis draws on Abbott’s approach towards professions (1988), Freidson’s study of the relationships between professions, the State and the market (2001), Douglas’ (1985) anthropological perspective on institutions, and neo-institutionalism (Di Maggio, 1988; Rizza, 2008). From Abbott, the importance of jurisdictional processes within a given profession and between neighbouring professions is considered, as well as justifications for the rationale of their social closure. Freidson inspires a focus on links between a profession’s relationships with the State and the market, and its consequences for the negotiation of changes with respect to protection of the public. Through neo-institutionalism, the analysis looks at how various factors help to understand the ways in which institutional actors justify their own roles, in the context of the other actors involved. Thus, by avoiding overlapping jurisdictions, these actors and the dynamics of their relationships end up contributing to institutional disjunctions. In this regard, they show how sets of institutions fail to fulfill their shared objectives (in this case, allowing FTPs to practice in the local economy) by avoiding the extension of their mandates in the strict sense, thus creating and reproducing gaps, chasms and inconsistencies. In the remaining part of their analysis, Douglas’ institutional approach is insightful. The authors underline the professional regulating bodies’ use of the notion of the protection of the public as a rationale to minimize risk and justify various compensatory measures and prescribe bridging programs. The analysis shows that these aspects are highly contextual and dependent upon each profession’s recent history, especially its social status (as publicized through the media) and credibility as the guardian of public protection. Overall, this chapter presents a situated analysis of how institutional actors within the professional system enact complex changes and, in the process, encounter challenges in the context of local implementation.
Additional Information: Le chapitre du livre sera libéré de droits en 2025. The book chapter will be available in 2025.
Depositor: Bédard, Jean-Luc
Owner / Manager: Jean-Luc Bédard
Deposited: 10 Apr 2024 19:57
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2024 19:57

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