The Rise of the Medical Profession: A Study of Collective Social Mobility, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Rise of the Medical Profession

A Study of Collective Social Mobility, 1st Edition

By Noel Parry, José Parry


288 pages

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pub: 2020-05-31
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Originally published in 1976 The Rise of the Medical Profession combines a sociological and historical approach to the rise of the medical profession in England. Sociologically it offers a theoretical framework which for the first time links the study of social mobility and professionalism with the theory of stratification. Historically, it examines the movement which led to the unification of the medical profession arising from effective social organisation among the surgeon-apothecaries in the early nineteenth century. It demonstrates that through the successful pursuit of the occupational strategy of professionalism the doctors have been able to raise their income and status in the community and to dominate the institutions and organisations of medical care. In their relationship with the state, they have been generally successful in securing a recognition of their privileged position. The future of the medical profession and of professionalism is discussed in the context of the changing balance between state power and that of free private occupation associations, whether of the type based on professionalism or unionism. The ideal-type conception of the middle class as essentially individualistic is challenged by the exploration of middle class collective action, particularly professionalism.

Table of Contents



Part I

1. Social Mobility and Class Structure – The Orthodox Approaches

2. Professionalism and Social Class – I

3. Professionalism and Social Class – II

4. Power, Uncertainty and the Formation of Social Structure

5. Collective Social Mobility and Social Structure

Part II

6. From Apothecary to General Practitioner: A Successful Struggle for Upward Assimilation and Occupational Closure, 1790-1858

7. Professional Consolidation and Status, 1858-1911

8. Sexual Divisions and the Medical Occupations

9. Doctors and the State: From National Health Insurance to National Health Service, 1911-1948

10. Doctors in the National Health Service, 1948-1975

Part III

11. Concluding Summary and Some Images of the Future



About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: History of Medicine

The volumes in this set, originally published between 1926 and 1995, draw together research by leading academics in the area of medicine and history, and provide a rigorous examination of related key issues. The volume examines the advancement of medicine throughout history from medicine in antiquity to advancements in science during the Victorian period, the set looks at the rise of the medical profession, how medical journals have adapted and contributed to modern medicine, midwifery and surgical practices, whilst also exploring medical history and advancements throughout the world. This set will be of particular interest to academics of history, medicine, sociology and anthropology respectively.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General