Dynamics of Professions and Professionalism: Performance, Quality and Trust
August 25-28 (26-27), 2020, Utrecht University

Postponed: Interim meeting in August 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 -situation in Europe, the conference is being postponed, and will be held in 2022. More information closer to the date.

European Sociological Association, Research Network 19 “Sociology of Professions” Interim meeting 2020 in collaboration with the Utrecht University Focus area Professional Performance and the Utrecht University School of Governance

Dynamics of Professions and Professionalism: Performance, Quality and Trust
August 25-28 (26-27), 2020, Utrecht University

Preliminary programme:

The conference will primarily take place on Wednesday August 26 and Thursday August 27. During these days we will address the main topics of the conference along the line of (sociological and interdisciplinary) research as well as in a few session where we connect research and researchers with professional practices and interest groups.  For the early arrivers there is an informal welcome on Tuesday evening August 25 and on Friday 28 there is an option to extend the conference with extra panels and a social program.

Key note -speakers will be confirmed soon.

Coordinators: Christiane Schnell, Institute for Social Research, Frankfurt; Wieger Bakker, Utrecht University School of Governance; Helena Hirvonen, University of Eastern Finland; Mirko Noordegraaf, Utrecht University School of Governance

Ongoing societal changes strongly influence professions and professionalism. For instance, the internet has an impact on the availability of information and on the way in which people communicate; the pace of technological development – including artificial intelligence – is leading to automation of a growing number of professional tasks. Meanwhile, globalisation, migration and changing geopolitical relationships are affecting the organisation of global production processes. In addition, professionals are becoming more connected across organisational, sectoral and national boundaries.

These changes have far-reaching consequences for the society in which professionals operate, for the organisations in which professionals work, and in addition, they change the relationships between them and professional groups. Furthermore, the change occurs in the nature of the tasks that professionals perform, roles in which they work, and what is expected and required of them in general.

During this conference, we want to emphasize the changing tasks and roles of professionals, the expectations and requirements they face, and the implications for the development of expertise during their working life. Issues concerning the connection between work, development and lifelong learning are highly important in such a context.

By taking this stance, we also offer space to different disciplinary perspectives on these issues, especially, but not only, disciplines that have their focus on specific professions (such as the life sciences, law, psychology, educational sciences, veterinary sciences). Furthermore, with a few round tables and/or forum debates, we also want to engage in dialogue together with representatives of professional organisations.

The following broad questions will guide the discussion:

  1. How do changing social demands and social contexts influence the professions and professional organisations as well as the dynamics of developing/changing professions?
  2. What factors are central in organising professional quality and trust, in different domains?
  3. How does socialisation take place, how do professionals learn, how do they acquire relevant expertise, and how do they adapt to changing contexts?

We invite papers, both empirical and theoretical, on established and emerging professions, and concerning these or other related issues.

Conference venue

How to get to the School of Governance:  https://www.uu.nl/en/organisation/utrecht-university-school-of-governance/contact-us

How to get to the Academiegebouw (University Hall) for the welcoming reception on the day before the start of the conference: https://www.uu.nl/en/organisation/utrecht-university-hall/visitor-information/directions


Court Hotel: https://www.courthotel.nl/en/

NH Centre Utrecht Hotel: https://www.nh-hotels.com/hotel/nh-centre-utrecht

Strowis in the city centre: https://www.strowis.nl/

Stayokay in the city centre: https://www.stayokay.com/nl/hostel/utrecht-centrum

A bit further away, but well reachable with public transport or by bike:

Hotel Mitland: https://www.mitland.nl/en/hotel-utrecht.htm

NH Jaarbeurs Hotel: https://www.nh-hotels.com/hotel/nh-utrecht

Stayokay Bunnik https://www.stayokay.com/en/hostel/utrecht-bunnik

Website: Ms Melina Aarnikoivu and Dr. Taru Siekkinen. Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash