The widespread perception that medicine is undergoing significant changes in its social position and professional status is of sociological importance not only for understanding medicine's own construction of reality, but also for assessing a general sociological theory of the profession. How a profession maintains its status is reflected in the ways a dominant paradigm (professional dominance) responds to challenges from alternative concepts (deprofessionalization, proletarianization). Cross-national case studies of the position of physicians tend to reaffirm the dominant status of Freidson's paradigm. But research based on empirically verifiable data is needed to clarify further debate about the dominance of the medical profession.
Author(s): Frederic W. Hafferty
Volume 66, Issue S2
Published in 1988