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Professionalisering en arbeidsdeling


Douwe van Houten

About Douwe van
Douwe van Houten is hoogleraar Sociaal Beleid en Organisatie aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek te Utrecht en publiceert over verzorgingsstaat, uitsluiting, disability studies, burgerschap en professionalisering. Laatste boekpublicatie: De gevarieerde samenleving. Over gelijkwaardigheid en diversiteit. Utrecht: De Tijdstroom, 2004. Adres: Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Postbus 797, 3500 AT Utrecht. E-mail:
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Professionalism refers to a social division of labour (Emile Durkheim), but is confronted with the logic of markets and managerialism that disturbs the logic of professionalism. Markets and management have to do with a technical division of labour (Adam Smith) to optimize profits in a capitalist economy. The last 25 years professionals in the field of welfare and health are confronted with both forms of division of labour and their corresponding logics. What are the implications of this double logic for professional practices? The argument is that the logic of market and management and the logic of professionalism in theory can not be combined, but in practice occur both anyway. We have to deal with a policy paradox with two contrasting principles. For professionals the logic of professionalism, with its own morality, is decisive. The moral basis of professional work is connected with the ethics of care in which attentiveness is an important moral dimension. Since managers can not observe professionals at work, they can not force them to actually give priority to the principles underlying the market logic. They can try to regulate their work but can not, fortunatenately the athor thinks, induce the primacy of the market logic.
How to Cite: Houten, D. van ., 2006. Professionalisering en arbeidsdeling. Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice, 15(2), pp.17–25. DOI:
Published on 29 Jun 2006.
Peer Reviewed


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