By April 10, 2018Academic Papers

York University
Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies Department of Sociology
Winter 2018




“One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.” William Faulkner, novelist, 1956

Work is indeed a constant of the human condition. As organized forms of work, occupations and professions shape our lives in many ways. We are all connected to them as practitioners, clients, or both. They are a livelihood for most of us, a space where we spend most of our waking hours, and a block of time grabbing our (almost) exclusive attention. An occupation or profession, however, is more than work. It carries over to other aspects of life. Occupations and professions help their practitioners find meaning in their lives, shape their identity, develop a sense of community, and map their place in the larger society.

This course provides a practitioner-centered perspective on occupations and professions in their historical, institutional, and organizational settings. It begins with alternative conceptions of occupations and professions as a system of division of labour and of inequality. This is followed by macro processes that are at work in occupational and professional practice such as gender- and ethnicity-mediated access, state- and self-regulation, and professionalization and de- professionalization (how an occupation becomes a profession and vice versa). The focus then shifts to actual work processes based on case studies of occupations/“occupants” and professions/professionals representing a wide range of differentiation in demographic composition, activity, skill, income, and status.


By fulfilling the requirements of this course, students are expected to:
Appreciate the importance of work in general for human social organization;


  • Recognize the specificity of occupational and professional work;

  • Conceptually differentiate between occupations and professions;

  • Engage with the literature articulately and critically; and

  • Apply concepts drawn from the field to concrete situations of organized work.


    Each class is organized around a core topic with different dimensions that are addressed by a set of readings. I will lead off each session by introducing the day’s topic in its broader context. This will pave the way for a student-led discussion based on questions drawn from the assigned readings. I will then wrap up the session with a summary of the discussion.


    Your success in this course depends on fulfilling six requirements: 1) attendance; 2) participation; 3) presentation; 4) critical review; 5) reading summaries; and 6) term paper.

    1. Attendance (5%)

    There will be no penalty for missing up to two of the 12 classes. For every class missed thereafter, one-half point will be deducted from your existing credit (initially 5 points). In any case, you are strongly encouraged to attend all classes for your benefit. If you arrive late or leave early, you will not be considered attendant.

    2. Participation (10%)

    Participation is active attendance, that is, contributing to discussions both during lectures and other introductions such as film screening, and during student presentations of the course readings. And your participation must be meaningful and regular for full effect. This, in turn, requires preparation—doing the weekly readings in advance of classes.

    3. Presentation (15%)

    Each student as part of a group is required to lead discussion based on a short presentation in at least one class. For this purpose, I will randomly match two or three students with a particular class at the beginning of the term. Those students who are assigned to the same class need to work as a group, develop a discussion plan, and share their joint plan with me by noon on Monday preceding the class. I will then review the plan and post it on the Moodle Course Site by noon on Tuesday preceding the class. The point of this exercise is not to summarize the week’s readings, which everyone is supposed to do, but to stimulate discussion based on the questions to be drawn from the readings.

    4. Critical Review (15%)

    January 24: Deadline for choosing the reading (notification by email) February 7: Due in class (hard copy)


5% penalty for each day of late submission

In this assignment, you are required to write a critical review of one course reading. There are two conditions for choosing the reading. It must be: 1) from Classes 2 through 6; and 2) other than the ones you are presenting for class discussion.

Your review will: 1) describe the problematic of the text (what is at issue); 2) identify and define the theoretical approach and related concepts used; 3) report the key findings and conclusions; and 4) provide a critique of the text by highlighting where you agree and where you disagree with it. The review must not exceed 1,250 words (abut five double-spaced pages typed in 12- point font size).

5. Reading Summaries (15%)

I expect that students will do the readings ahead of classes. To encourage you to do so and measure your performance, I will collect five reading summaries for Classes 7 through 11. Counting for 3 points, each reading summary must: 1) be 250 words maximum (about one double-spaced page typed in 12-point font size); 2) capture the main ideas of the week’s material; and 3) be emailed to me by noon on Tuesday preceding the class.

6. Term Paper (40%)

February 14: Deadline for choosing the occupation (notification by email) February 28: Outline (5%) due in class (hard copy)
April 4: Paper (35%) due in class (hard copy)
5% penalty for each day of late submission

The single most important requirement of this course is a term paper profiling a particular occupation (trade or profession) by using theoretical and methodological tools drawn from the course material. Occupational profiles are best captured in specific contexts and in relation to practitioners. Thus, your paper will profile an occupation as practised in a historical-institutional setting. The sooner you start thinking about your choice and communicate it to me, the better off you will be. This exercise has two deliverables: 1) a term paper outline; and 2) the term paper itself.

Your term paper outline (5%) must include: 1) a provisional title, including the occupation and the jurisdiction of practice (for example, Nursing in Ontario or Policing in Canada); 2) reasoning behind your choice (why the occupation and the jurisdiction are of interest to you); 3) a table of contents of the term paper (see the next paragraph for required components); and 4) at least five references—outside of the course readings—on the occupation in particular that you would like to use in the paper. The outline must not exceed 500 words (about two double-spaced pages typed in 12-point font size).

Components of the term paper (35%) are as follows: 1) a brief history of the occupation in the jurisdiction of choice; 2) education, training, and other access requirements; 3) regulatory status of the occupation (who regulates it and how, if applicable); 4) occupational organization of practitioners; 5) demographic composition of the membership (any salient gender, age, and


ethno-racial features); and 6) relative power, status, and prestige of the occupation in the hierarchy of occupations. More detail on these components will be provided by February 14.

The term paper will be evaluated against four main criteria:

  • Organization and Presentation: Is the paper organized into meaningful parts? Is the material presented clearly? Is the literature cited properly?

  • Description: Is the material presented, including literature cited, informative? In other words, does it give the reader a good, all-round sense of the occupation at hand in its jurisdictional context?

  • Analysis: Do you meaningfully use concepts from the sociology of occupations and professions to shed light on the development, regulation, and practice of the occupation?

  • Discussion: Do you go on to discuss your case relationally in terms power, status, and prestige?

    The term paper must be 3,000 to 3,750 words (about 12 to 15 double-spaced pages, including bibliography and any notes, typed in 12-point font size). You must use one citation style consistently in both the text and the bibliography. The following link provides an example (American Sociological Association Style):







Jan 10

Introduction: Overview of the course and key concepts




Theoretical perspectives on occupations and professions



Jan 24

Occupational regulation and the state

Choice of Critical Review reading


Jan 31

Professionalization and de-professionalization



Feb 7

Unequal access to occupational practice: women

Critical Review


Feb 14

Unequal access to occupational practice: Migrants and ethnic minorities

Choice of Term Paper occupation


Feb 21

No Class—Reading Week: February 17–23



Feb 28

The interplay of gender, ethnicity, and citizenship: Household work

Term Paper Outline


Mar 7

Emotional labour



Mar 14

“Invisible” work



Mar 21

Occupational identities and communities: Trades and service people



Mar 28

Occupational identities and communities: Professionals



Apr 4

Wrapping up: Whither professionalism?

Term Paper



Most of the readings are available online and linked to from both the Course Outline and the Moodle Course Site. The few readings that are available in print only are placed on reserve for a two-hour loan at the Scott Library.

CLASS 1 (January 10)—Introduction: Overview of the Course and Key Concepts

Adams, Tracey L. and Sandy Welsh. 2008. The Organization and Experience of Work. Toronto: Thomson Nelson. Chapter 1 (Introduction) only, pp. 1–18. [HD 8106.5 A323 2008 SCOTT- RESV]

CLASS 2 (January 17)—Theoretical Perspectives on Occupations and Professions

Monteiro, A. Reis. 2015. The Teaching Profession: Present and Future. Cham: Springer. Chapter 4 (Sociology of the Professions) only, pp. 47–60. []

Freidson, Eliot. 2001. Professionalism: The Third Logic on the Practice of Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Introduction only, pp. 1–14. [HD 8038 A1 F74 2001 SCOTT- RESV]

Evetts, Julia. 2014. “The Concept of Professionalism: Professional Work, Professional Practice and Learning.” Pp. 29–56 in International Handbook of Research in Professional and Practice- based Learning, edited by Stephen Billett, Christian Harteis, and Hans Gruber. Dordrecht: Springer. [ 8_2]


  1. What do we mean by the concepts of work, occupations, and professions?

  2. How are these concepts related to jobs and skills?


  1. What are the main approaches to differentiating professions from other occupations? Discuss their strengths and weaknesses. (Monteiro 2015)

  2. How is the “logic” of professionalism different from those of the market and the bureaucracy as alternative modes of organizing and controlling work? (Freidson 2001)

  3. How have recent market and bureaucratic forces changed professional work? (Evetts 2014)

CLASS 3 (January 24)—Occupational Regulation and the State

Deadline for choosing Critical Review reading


Monteiro, A. Reis. 2015. The Teaching Profession: Present and Future. Cham: Springer. Chapter 6 (Regulation of Professions) only, pp. 103–117. []

Adams, Tracey L. 2010. “Profession: A Useful Concept for Sociological Analysis?” Canadian Review of Sociology 47(1):49–70. [ 618X.2010.01222.x/full]

Türegün, Adnan. 2017. “Ideas and Interests Embedded in the Making of Ontario’s Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, 2006.Journal of International Migration and Integration 18(2):405–418. [ 0506-9]


1. What is the rationale for (self-)regulation? What are its pros and cons? (Monteiro 2015) 2. How do different types of regulation affect occupational hierarchy? (Adams 2010)
3. What were the arguments for and against Ontario’s “fair access” legislation? How were

they framed? (Türegün 2017)

CLASS 4 (January 31)—Professionalization and De-professionalization

Jacobs, Merle A. 2011. “Nursing’s Journey from Semi-professional to Professional.” Pp. 99–115 in Work, Occupations and Professionalization, edited by Stephen E. Bosanac and Merle A. Jacobs. Whitby: de Sitter Publications. [HD 6955 W6668 2011 SCOTT-RESV]

Girard, Erik R. and Harald Bauder. 2007a. “The Making of an ‘Arcane’ Infrastructure: Immigrant Practitioners and the Origins of Professional Engineering Regulation in Ontario.” Canadian Geographer 51(2):233–46. [ 0064.2007.00176.x/full]

Türegün, Adnan. 2013a. “Immigrant Settlement Work in Canada: Limits and Possibilities for Professionalization.” Canadian Review of Sociology 50(4):387–411. []

Andrews, Therese M. and Kari Wærness. 2011. “Deprofessionalization of a Female Occupation: Challenges for the Sociology of Professions.” Current Sociology 59(1):42–58. []


1. How did Canadian nursing distinguish itself in its professionalization drive? (Jacobs



  1. What strategies did Ontario’s engineers use to professionalize? (Girard and Bauder


  2. What is the likelihood of professionalization for immigrant settlement work in Canada?

    (Türegün 2013a)

  3. How did Norwegian public health nurses lose professional status (de-professionalize)?

    (Andrews and Wærness 2011)

CLASS 5 (February 7)—Unequal Access to Occupational Practice: Women

Critical Review due in class
5% penalty for each day of late submission

Jacobs, Jerry A. 1999. “The Sex Segregation of Occupations: Prospects for the 21st Century.” Pp. 125–41 in Handbook of Gender and Work, edited by Gary N. Powell. Thousand Oaks: Sage. [HQ 1233 H33 1999 SCOTT-RESV]

Charles, Maria and David B. Grusky. 2004. Occupational Ghettos: The Worldwide Segregation of Women and Men. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Chapter 1 (The Four Puzzles of Sex Segregation) only, pp. 3–37. [HD 6060.6 C48 2004 SCOTT-RESV]

Cuddy, Amy J. C., Susan T. Fiske, and Peter Glick. 2004. “When Professionals Become Mothers, Warmth Doesn’t Cut the Ice.” Journal of Social Issues 60(4):701–718. [ 4537.2004.00381.x/full]

Witz, Anne. 1992. Professions and Patriarchy. London: Routledge. Chapter 3 (Gender and Medical Professionalisation) only, pp. 70–99. []


  1. How much does sexism account for the disadvantages faced by women in the occupational labour market? (Jacobs 1999)

  2. What is horizontal segregation? What is vertical segregation? (Charles and Grusky 2004)

  3. Why do perceived gender roles endure? (Cuddy, Fiske, and Glick 2004)

  4. What closure strategies did British male doctors use against their female counterparts?

    How did women counter these strategies? (Witz 1992)

CLASS 6 (February 14)—Unequal Access to Occupational Practice: Migrants and Ethnic Minorities

Deadline for choosing Term Paper occupation

Foster, Lorne. 2011. “The Foreign Credentials Gap: Understanding the Dynamics of Racialized 7

Immigration in Canada.” Pp. 215–57 in Work, Occupations and Professionalization, edited by Stephen E. Bosanac and Merle A. Jacobs. Whitby: de Sitter Publications. [HD 6955 W6668 2011 SCOTT-RESV]

Girard, Erik R. and Harald Bauder. 2007b. “Assimilation and Exclusion of Foreign Trained Engineers in Canada: Inside a Professional Regulatory Organization.” Antipode 39(1):35–53. [ 8330.2007.00505.x/full]

Blain, Marie-Jeanne, Sylvie Fortin, and Fernando Alvarez. 2017. “Professional Journeys of International Medical Graduates in Quebec: Recognition, Uphill Battles, or Career Change.” Journal of International Migration and Integration 18(1):223–47. [https://link-springer-]

Türegün, Adnan. 2013b. “Rebuilding Professional Lives: Immigrant Professionals Working in the Ontario Settlement Service Sector.” Journal of International Migration and Integration 14(3):597–614. [ 0258-0]


  1. How much does racism account for the disadvantages faced by migrants and ethnic minorities in the occupational labour market? (Foster 2011)

  2. How is the lack of “Canadian experience” constructed as a labour market barrier for the foreign-trained? (Girard and Bauder 2007b)

  3. What are the pathways to professional integration for international medical graduates in Quebec? What determines these pathways? (Blain, Fortin, and Alvarez. 2017)

  4. What strategies do foreign-trained professionals use to avoid personal de- professionalization? (Türegün 2013b)

>> No Class (February 21)—Reading Week: February 17–23 <<

CLASS 7 (February 28)—The Interplay of Gender, Ethnicity, and Citizenship: Household Work

Term Paper outline due in class

Pupo, Norene and Ann Duffy. 2007. “Blurring the Distinction between Public and Private Spheres: The Commodification of Household Work—Gender, Class, Community, and Global Dimensions Work.” Pp. 289–325 in Work in Tumultuous Times: Critical Perspectives, edited by Vivian Shalla and Wallace Clement. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press. [ b=nlebk&AN=405243&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_289]

Ehrenreich, Barbara. 2002. “Maid to Order.” Pp. 85–103 in Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, edited by Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie R. Hochschild. New


York: Henry Holt. [HD 6072 G55 2003 SCOTT-RESV]

CLASS 8 (March 7)—Emotional Labour

Hochschild, Arlie R. [1983] 2003. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling, 20th century edition. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Chapter 6 (Feeling Management: From Private to Commercial Uses) only, pp. 89–136. [BF 531 H62 2003 SCOTT]

Parreñas, Rhacel S. 2009. “Hostess Work: Negotiating the Morals of Money and Sex.” Research in the Sociology of Work 18:207–232. [HD 6951 R58 V.18 SCOTT-RESV]

CLASS 9 (March 14)—“Invisible” Work

Brody, David. 2016. Housekeeping by Design: Hotels and Labor. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 1 (Theoretically Checking In) only, pp. 21–33. [Handout]

Zuberi, Dan. 2013. Cleaning Up: How Hospital Outsourcing Is Hurting Workers and Endangering Patients. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Chapter 6 (Down and Out in Vancouver: Struggling, Stressed, and Exhausted Hospital Support Workers) only, pp. 81–104. [RA 975.5 H6 Z83 2013 SCOTT-RESV]


1. How has the modern household become a marketplace? (Pupo and Duffy 2007) 2. What is the corporatization of house cleaning? (Ehrenreich 2002)


  1. What is the difference between surface acting and deep acting in emotional labour? (Hochschild [1983] 2003)

  2. How does migration status affect hostesses’ relations with clients? (Parreñas 2009)


  1. Why and how does management make the necessary work of housekeeping invisible at hotels? (Brody 2016)

  2. How does the private organization of work affect hospital support workers’ lives? (Zuberi 2013)

CLASS 10 (March 21)—Occupational Identities and Communities: Trades and Service People


Fine, Gary Alan. 1996. “Justifying Work: Occupational Rhetorics as Resources in Restaurant Kitchens.” Administrative Science Quarterly 41(1):90–115. []

Ouellet, Lawrence J. 1994. Pedal to the Metal: The Work Lives of Truckers. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Chapter 5 (Work Skills and Self-Esteem) only, pp. 100–128. [HD 8039 M7952 U56 1994 SCOTT-RESV]


  1. What are the building blocks (rhetorics) of occupational identity among cooks? (Fine 1996)

  2. What is the difference between work skills and job skills? How do they relate to self- esteem among truck drivers? (Ouellet 1994)

CLASS 11 (March 28)—Occupational Identities and Communities: Professionals

Mather, Lynn M., Craig A. McEwen, and Richard J. Maiman. 2001. Divorce Lawyers at Work: Varieties of Professionalism in Practice. New York: Oxford University Press. Chapter 8 (Constructing Professional Meaning and Identity in the Practice of Divorce Law) only, pp. 157– 74. []

Hallam, Julia. 2000. Nursing the Image: Media, Culture and Professional Identity. London and New York: Routledge. Chapter 4 (The Personal Imagination) only, pp. 130–76. []

CLASS 12 (April 4) — Wrapping up: Whither Professionalism?

Term Paper due in class
5% penalty for each day of late submission

Freidson, Eliot. 2001. Professionalism: The Third Logic on the Practice of Knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 9 (The Soul of Professionalism) only, pp. 197–222. [HD 8038 A1 F74 2001 SCOTT-RESV]


  1. How does the role (legal craft, client adjustment, or mixed) orientation of divorce lawyers affect their sense and experience of work? (Mather, McEwen, and Maiman 2001)

  2. How do gender, class, and race intersect to shape the image of nursing? (Hallam 2000)


1. How will the occupational organization and control of work fare in the future, relative to its market and bureaucratic alternatives?


2. What impact will new information technologies have on occupations and professions?


Senate Policy on Academic Honesty

The Policy on Academic Honesty is an affirmation and clarification for members of the University of the general obligation to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. As a clear sense of academic honesty and responsibility is fundamental to good scholarship, the policy recognizes the general responsibility of all faculty members to foster acceptable standards of academic conduct and of the student to be mindful of and abide by such standards.

Academic honesty requires that persons do not falsely claim credit for the ideas, writing or other intellectual property of others, either by presenting such works as their own or through impersonation. Similarly, academic honesty requires that persons do not cheat (attempt to gain an improper advantage in an academic evaluation), nor attempt or actually alter, suppress, falsify or fabricate any research data or results, official academic record, application or document.

Suspected breaches of academic honesty will be investigated and charges shall be laid if reasonable and probable grounds exist. A student who is charged with a breach of academic honesty shall be presumed innocent until, based upon clear and compelling evidence, a committee determines the student has violated the academic honesty standards of the university. A finding of academic misconduct will lead to the range of penalties described in the guidelines which accompany this policy. In some cases the University regulations on non-academic discipline may apply. A lack of familiarity with the Senate Policy and Guidelines on Academic Honesty on the part of a student does not constitute a defence against their application. Some academic offences constitute offences under the Criminal Code of Canada; a student charged under University regulations may also be subject to criminal charges. Charges may also be laid against York University students for matters which arise at other educational institutions. Information about guidelines and procedures related to this policy can be obtained from the University Secretariat website (

Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

York University shall make reasonable and appropriate accommodations and adaptations in order to promote the ability of students with disabilities to fulfill the academic requirements of their programs.

The nature and extent of accommodations shall be consistent with and supportive of the integrity of the curriculum and of the academic standards of programs or courses.

Provided that students have given sufficient notice about their accommodation needs, instructors shall take reasonable steps to accommodate these needs in a manner consistent with the guidelines established hereunder.


“Disabilities” shall be defined as those conditions so designated under the Ontario Human Rights Code in force from time to time, and will in any event include physical, medical, learning and psychiatric disabilities.

Guidelines for this policy can be accessed on various University websites, including the University Secretariat (

Religious Accommodations / Senate Policy on Women’s Remembrance Day

Senate’s policy governing the setting of sessional dates and examination schedules includes a statement on religious observances which has two parts:

“York University is committed to respecting the religious beliefs and practices of all members of the community and making accommodations for observances of special significance to adherents.”

“Every effort will be made to avoid scheduling in-class or formal examinations on days of special religious significance throughout the year. A schedule of dates for such days for various faiths will be compiled annually and distributed widely. Students will be informed of procedures for requesting and arranging accommodations.”

In May 1998 Senate approved a policy to commemorate Women’s Remembrance Day that encourages the planning and funding of activities appropriate to Women’s Remembrance Day. The Senate policy also encourages faculty to highlight Women’s Remembrance Day in their classes and to incorporate in their classes, as appropriate, some of the issues facing women, particularly violence against women. The administration is asked to support the development of workshops to assist faculty with their preparations.

Information about this policy is provided to students in publications such as the Undergraduate Calendar. The University community will also be informed in advance of activities associated with Women’s Remembrance Day.




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