Professionals and the Community: Some Considerations of Public Policy and Professional Parochiality

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This article focuses on occupational groups that have succeeded in attaining the status of professions, as this term has been used by sociologists. The privilege and power that increasingly are exercised by major professional groups raise important questions about how these influences affect the interests and welfare of the general public. The point being emphasized here is simply that the values, ideologies, and policies espoused by professional and other special interest groups cannot be equated with, nor can they be viewed as necessarily synonymous or even consistent with, the public interest. It was asserted that clinical psychologists while pointing to the arrogance of other professions have shown a “me-tooism” regarding the power and privilege enjoyed by colleagues in medicine and psychiatry. The author suggests that psychology learn from recent history related to issues of social accountability that have been raised in relation to other powerful professions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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