The phenomenon of professionalization has been an exceptionally powerful force in Western industrialized countries for more than a century. "The professions are as characteristic of the modern world as the crafts were of the ancient," said Stephen R. Graubard in the preface to The Professions in America (1963). Talcott Parsons (1968) declared that "The development and increasing strategic importance of the professions probably constitute the most important change that has occurred in the occupational system of modern countries." Dry statistics alone bear out these views. In the United States "professionals" increased in the population from 859 per 100,000 in 1870 to 3,310 in 1950 (Goode, 1957). In absolute numbers professional and technical workers increased from 350,000 in 1870 to 12.5 million in 1974. In 1900 professional and technical workers represented only 4.3% of the workforce; by 1970 they were 14.4% (Galper, 1975: 56).

Included in

Social Work Commons