Civil Society and Professions: US Civic and Politicized Lawyering
It is important to include civil society in the purview of the sociology of professions because many professionals and professions interact not just with the state and the market but also with civil society actors. Moreover, members of professions engage in civic action and political activism not just as citizens or single professionals but also as the (founding or regular) members of their professional associations. They also establish think-tanks, research and counseling centres, consortia, and on occasion even citizen initiatives or social movements. Professional life can be explored more comprehensively when these professional interactions and activities are included in the analysis. The text provides a standard definition of professions, argues for considering professions’ role in civil society, defines civil society, and draws on US research on civic and political lawyering to buttress its arguments. Some examples from other professions are also offered.
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