Social Closure and Veterinary Professionalization in Britain: A Self-Interested or Public Interested Endeavour?
The professionalization of veterinary medicine in Britain has been little studied by social scientists, although as a classic instance of an occupation that has achieved exclusionary social closure it merits examination from a neo-Weberian perspective. Therefore, this paper explores how it has attained this position through state action in an historical and contemporary context using neo-Weberianism as a theoretical lens. In charting the different stages and forms of professional regulation in veterinary medicine, group self-interest is identified as a central driver, following the neo-Weberian idiom. However, contrary to the position adopted by some neo-Weberians, the professionalization process is seen as being more complex than simply being interest-based, with the public interest being upheld. As such, through the case of veterinary medicine, it is claimed professional self-interests and the public interest can be co-terminous and mutually achieve a dynamic equilibrium. They do not have to form part of a zero-sum game.
Copyright (c) 2020 Martin Whiting, Stephen A May, Mike Saks
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