Power and the Professions in Britain 1700-1850
The modern professions have a long history that predates the development of formal institutions and examinations in the nineteenth century. Long before the Victorian era the emergent professions wielded power through their specialist knowledge and set up informal mechanisms of control and self-regulation. Penelope Corfield devotes a chapter each to lawyers, clerics and doctors and makes reference to many other professionals - teachers, apothecaries, governesses, army officers and others. She shows how as the professions gained in power and influence, so they were challenged increasingly by satire and ridicule. Corfield's analysis of the rise of the professions during this period centres on a discussion of the philosophical questions arising from the complex relationship between power and knowledge.
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