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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


PEREIRA-NETO, André de F.. The medical profession at issue (1922): a historical and sociological view. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1995, vol.11, n.4, pp.600-615. ISSN 1678-4464.

Can a profession become the subject of historical or sociological study? Such an undertaking can only be possible if one avoids the meaning ascribed to the word profession and begins to give it a conceptual statue. Based on this concern, we present theoretical postulates introduced by several North American sociologists in their attempts to define profession as a concept, distinguishing it from occupation. We are interested in identifying the role played by knowledge and control of the labor market control. We make use of this reference to analyze a specifical case, the medical profession, in a particular place, Brazil, and in a given historical context, the early 20th century, specifically at the "National Congress of Practitioners" (1922). From this empirical, historical analysis, we make three comments on our theoretical frame of reference. The first refers to the constitutive heterogeneity of a professional body, the second to the historical meaning of the professional process, and the third to coercion as a means for eliminating competitors and establishing one's self as a professional in the labour market. The purpose is to show that historical and sociological study of the medical profession is legitimate, relevant, and extremely opportune.

Keywords : Medical Profession; Medical Labor Market; Medical Knowledge; History of Medicine; History of Health.

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