Reimagining the Place of the Professional, before It Is too Late: Five Dystopias and an Oxymoron?

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The trustworthiness and expertise of professionals is much in demand even while they are derided as members of slippery, credentialized and self-serving elites. Eliot Friedson’s three ‘logics’ provide a contextual lens for this deconstruction of ‘professional’ and are updated by adding Artificial Intelligence (AI) as putative fourth logic to provide a contextual background—so, Markets, Bureaucracy and AI are seen as alternatives to and influences on professionalism. This context suggests that it may already be too late to save ‘professionals’, but them paper confronts a significant conceptual deficit by using a second interdisciplinary lens, Clarke’s Place Model, to critically deconstruct the ‘place’ of professionals to reimagine a commodious and accessible conceptualization, consisting of five dystopias and a potentially potent oxymoron—inclusive professional. The Place Model is presented as an example of a Geographical Imagination (Massey), combining two conceptions of ‘place’: place as esteem and place as a changing position on the expanding horizons of a career-long growth of expertise. This novel conceptualization is then used to examine the dystopias and potential ideals of ‘professional’.
Original languageEnglish
Article number272
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 14 Nov 2019


  • Inclusive professional
  • Place Model
  • Professionalized
  • Professions
  • Unprofessional


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