On Comparative Methodologies, or, How Professional Ecologies Vary

  • Anders Blok Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen


Based on the authors’ own research experiences, this essay discusses the potentials of a “cross-jurisdictional” comparative methodology in the sociology of professions, which aims to describe similarities and variations in patterns of inter-professional interaction across substantively different work domains. This approach, the essay shows, stands in contrast to two more prevalent comparative methodologies in the field, dubbed here “cross-national” and “intra-national,” respectively. Drawing on Andrew Abbott’s seminal framework, cross-jurisdictional comparisons refrain from abstracting professional groups from their wider ecologies of inter-professional relations. On this basis, and invoking the methodological suggestions of Monika Krause on qualitative comparisons, the essay spells out key axes of variation between contemporary professional jurisdictions and ecologies, including along the lines of post-national analysis. The essay ends by highlighting more general reasons as to why reflecting further on new comparative possibilities may at present constitute a key stake for the future of research on professional change.


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How to Cite
Blok, A. (2020). On Comparative Methodologies, or, How Professional Ecologies Vary. Professions and Professionalism, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.7577/pp.3807