Mesterségem címere… Hivatás és professzionalizáció
Beyond Trade and Occupation: Professions and Professionalization in Public Discourse and in Modern Historical Writing
Since the democratic political transition in 1989–1990, there have been several debates in Hungary concerning the autonomy, self-representation, and monopolistic position of certain professions. In other cases controversies were sparked about the contents and purpose of professional education. Much less work has been done about the real meaning of professional self-representation, associations and vocational higher education. Whereas in North-Atlantic societies the process of professionalization generated ongoing disputes, and remained a steady issue in social scientific discourse for several decades after World War II, the same debates were largely absent in Hungary before 1990. This was partly due to the socialist regime which objected to autonomies of any kind, including the autonomy of occupational groups; scholarly discourse about the professions was thus discouraged, and attention was mostly focused on intellectuals. The relatively low interest in professionalization was also a consequence of the fact that the professions had never been as centrally important in Hungarian social stratifi cation as they were in Northwestern European and American societies. Following a brief history of professionalization theories and an overview of recent international and Hungarian sociological and historical literature, the classical essay of Harold L. Wilensky is introduced to the Hungarian public.
Omnipotent State and Unfulfilled Dreams. The Professionalization of Hungarian Pharmaceutics
The study traces the development of the pharmaceutical profession from the eighteenth century to the First World War and compares this process of the American professionalization as described by Harold L. Wilensky to arrive to conclusions about its success. Following a short introduction to the early history, the study describes the centralisation of pharmaceutics in the eighteenth century, with special emphasis on the relevant ordinances of the Generale normativum in re sanitatis, and the beginnings of the pharmaceutical training in the higher education, which in Hungary was launched by the foundation of the medical faculty at the University of Trnava. The first professional associations were established in the 1830s, and, parallel to the development of professional discourse, the first demands for reform were formulated in this period. The age of absolutism brought about a relative setback in the self-organisation of pharmaceutical professionals, but the dissipation of the unfavourable political climate encouraged the re-organisation of associations: the publication of the first pharmaceutical journal was followed by the foundation of the national association in 1872. The next milestone in the history of the pharmaceutical profession was the 1876 regulation of public health and pharmaceutics.
In the age of dualism, pharmaceutics became an ‘accomplished’ profession and came to possess all the characteristics of professionalization: the deepening generational conflicts resulted in an increasing demand for raising educational requirements, the gap between affluent and impoverished professionals widened, the ties and conflicts with related professions were strengthening, which caused the emergence of protectionism in the pharmaceutical market. Finally, the study focuses on the reasons behind the government’s rejection of the pharmaceutical professionals’ petition for a chamber of commerce with compulsory chartered membership, which was the ultimate means to attain professional autonomy.
When Medicine Became Profession. Masters of Surgery and Doctors of Medicine in Hungary before Standardized Medical Training
Nowadays doctors are generally appreciated as members of a group, which has great prestige in society. In lay eyes, they share equal rights and regard, independent of the field of medicine. In contrast, in the eighteenth century there where many specialists in the medical market, and each had their own place in society: a) doctors lived mostly in towns and specialized in so-called ‘internal diseases'; b) surgeons, barbers, and bath men lived in towns or villages, and dealt with 'external diseases' (although due to the lack of doctores medicinae they also handled other illnesses); c) wayfarer therapeutists (dentists, ophthalmologists and the so-called lithotomi) were specialists with various skills; d) unprofessional healers, for example women with practical knowledge of healing within the family.
In the eighteenth century, the state decided to decrease this diversity and take strong control over the rest of these groups, and by this, over the health of its citizens. There were several important milestones in this process. In 1752 each free royal city and county was ordained to employ a doctor. In 1770 the relationship of doctors, surgeons, pharmacists and midwives was stipulated in Maria Theresa’s Generale Normativum. In the same year, the Hungarian Faculty of Medicine opened. By the first half of the nineteenth century only two signifi cant groups remained in the field: doctors and the lower-qualified surgeons. Both acquired their diploma at university, but the company of surgeons was divided into two further branches: the masters of surgery studied almost as long as doctors, so they were more erudite than civil surgeons.
The increasing popularity of the faculty from the 1820s resulted in difficulties and fewer work opportunities, and as a consequence, tension flared up between doctors and surgeons. From the eighteenth century, each county accommodated one or two doctors (as physici) and four or five surgeons. Although surgeons took care of most of the population and performed operations, doctors often attacked them, calling their profession obsolete and defective.
The first associations were founded in the 1830–1840s. Most of these bodies had doctors, surgeons and pharmacists among their members, only the Royal Company of Doctors in Budapest forbade masters or civil surgeons to join. The debate culminated in 1848, but after the suppression of the Hungarian revolution the old system remained largely unchanged. Many students still made the best of the shorter course of civil surgery, but the number of doctors of medicine (and surgery) was on the rise. Eventually, surgeon training was abolished in the Habsburg Empire and the standardized medical training for doctors of medicinae universalis was established.
The East Central European Version. The Professionalization of Secondary Education in Nineteenth- Century Hungary
The study analyses the professionalization of Hungarian secondary teachers with a methodology based on Hannes Siegrist’s professionalization terminology of ideal types. In contrast to the classic (Anglophone) theories of professionalization, this approach attributes an important role to the state in the Hungarian professionalization process. Furthermore, it does not view this process as unidirectional: previously attained positions and prerogatives could be forfeited any time. Consequently, the main question is not whether teaching at secondary school was considered a vocation. Instead, Keller asks if any signs of professionalization can be detected in the history of Hungarian secondary education and what these signs were.
The study concentrates on four themes. First, how did teacher training evolve, how was it regulated, and, as a result, how did the specialised knowledge required for secondary education develop as a result? Second, how did the teachers build their professional ethics and maintain their importance within society? Third, in what ways did the teachers strive to defend their professional autonomy and create a monopoly? Finally, how did professionalization aff ect the economic and social position of secondary teachers?
The analysis of the history of secondary education from these angles demonstrates that the process of professionalization is clearly perceptible in the case of Hungary. There has evolved a centrally regulated training and qualification system that was essentially compulsory for all candidates wishing to pursue this career, and this training also includes pedagogy, the specialised discipline of teaching. A study of the journal published by the National Association of Secondary Education (later, of Secondary School Teachers) reveals that professional ethics and the image of the ‘ideal teacher’ was fully formed by the last decades of the nineteenth century. The main purpose of these was the justification of the importance of the work of teachers in society.
The existence of professional autonomy, as well as the measures taken to protect it, proves that secondary education was on the way to full professionalization in this period. At the same time, the continuous amelioration of the social and economic position of secondary school teachers suggests that the consequences of the aforementioned professionalization processes are also reflected in their rising social prestige. As compared with the contemporaneous German situation, the professionalization of Hungarian secondary teachers is markedly associated with a characteristic importance of churches and church endowments. On one hand the presence of religion in the process hindered professionalization, as it decelerated the separation of teaching from clerical and ministerial roles and impeded the development of comprehensive teacher training and qualification. On the other hand, the presence of churches that were independent of the state and had vested interest in the education system increased the professional autonomy of teachers: the aims of these two power structures mutually inhibited one another and secondary school teachers became the primary beneficiaries of this struggle.
Politics as a Profession in Nineteenth-Century Hungary?
The study argues that the process of professionalization is strongly tied to time (for example electoral terms, government appointments), and that it can be analysed in cases of rather vaguely defined professional groups, such as that of politicians. Although this type of occupation cannot be fully described by traditional sociological categories, it is characterised by a kind of group identity, and can be described to have typical professional training curves, specific internal and external norms, specialisations, and even a layer in the political scene that pursued politics as a long-term profession supported by family networks. The transformation on the conceptual level also indicates professionalization: by the second half of the nineteenth century professional groups emerge in the world of politics, in the way Max Weber described in his wellknown 1919 lecture.
The study suggests that the professionalization of politics is not directly dependent on the processes of democratisation and development of party system. The strict and exclusive application of the Weberian categories masks changes that are important, albeit difficult to measure. With regard to the transformation of the world of politics in the nineteenth century Cieger concludes that the diff erence (‘lagging’) between the two halves of Europe is not as great as is portrayed in traditional scholarship.
Semi-Professionals, Partly Bourgeois – Fully Gentlemen?
The study addresses the problem of the historical development of social groups which embraced a strategy of professionalization in the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but had less than full success with the project. This is the group of what might be called ‘semi-professionals’. The original sociological model of professionalization includes a number of clearly defined criteria. However, drawing a sharp dividing line between professionals and other vocational groups only reveals those groups aspiring to professional status, which have in fact remained on the less fortunate side of that dividing line. This study examines those groups which had partial success in professionalization.
The largest ‘semi-professional’ groups in mid-nineteenth-century Europe were engineers, surveyors, and agricultural experts. By the late nineteenth century, these groups managed to establish specialized vocational training institutes. The diplomas conferred by these institutes served to define the group, but failed to establish a job monopoly. Regarding the kind of techniques that were employed in order to accelerate the ‘professional project’, it emerges that an aid to ‘professionalization’ might have been supplied by an ideological charge. An example for this is when an individual was considered to be a good (and vocal) engineer and an ardent (and vocal) patriot at the same time. In this case, either the first quality could latch onto the second, or the second one could carry the first. Out of the many possible variations, some examples of similar ideological charge are also described in the study.
‘Professionalizing’ groups with ideological sidelines were so common that one hesitates to use these supplementary factors as defining criteria. Instead of attempting to create a ‘typology’ of successful and semi-realized or partial professionalization projects, the study focuses on the contemporary social scenes, especially the exchange between professionalizing groups and others which these professionals associated themselves with. Two major comparative cases are discussed: the relationship of the notion of the gentleman and that of the professional in England, and the relationship of professionals to the process of embourgeoisement (Verbürgerlichung in German-speaking lands including Austrian territories).
First, the results of research on the professionalization project in Britain are examined, engaged as it was in a long-term, nation-wide flow of public discourse. This discourse has linked the ‘service component’ to the ideal of the gentleman; and the cultivated, refined ‘gentleman component’ to the ideal of the professional — redefining and strengthening one another in the process. In the same way, the early nineteenth-century German university reform and its subsequent amendmends went a long way towards defining the part of the middle class called Bildungsbürger. The fight of ‘semi-professional’ engineers for the victory of their ‘professional project’ took the form of a fight for upgrading their training institutes to ‘technical universities’. Here, public discourse was not centred on giving or withholding respect from professionals on account of their distance from or proximity to ‘gentlemen’, but according to the merits of their knowledge and ‘Bildung’. In both cases, however, would-be professionals participated in a nation-wide discourse about their position in the social hierarchy. They strove to define their own place there by reference, allegiance or opposition to other groups, which themselves were in the process of determining their own place in society.
Serving State and Patron. A Client of the Károlyis at the Beginning of the Eighteenth Century
The study examines local power structures and the roles of the patron–client relationship in early eighteenth-century East Hungary. The example used to gain insight into this relationship is the person of Gábor Erős, a ’mediator’ who operated on various diff erent levels in his lifetime, fulfilling a kind of mediating role between the town of Szatmárnémeti, the state, and his patron Sándor Károlyi. Erős began his career at the curia regis in Szepes. He fought on Károlyi’s side in the Hungarian rebel (kuruc) militia and it was probably Károlyi who intervened to obtain pardon for him after the Treaty of Szatmár. This solidified the bond between them and Erős became tied to his patron by a complex network of gratitude and shared interest.
Erős himself was an independent and wealthy nobleman. As a tax collector he held an important state position and was endowed with significant local power, thus his relationship with Károlyi was based on mutual benefits. Károlyi, the comes of Szatmár County and the biggest landholder of the region, built a powerful network of clients. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the undiff erentiated character of the archaic world was manifest in the dominance of interpersonal connections. As he performed a variety of tasks for Károlyi, the case of Erős is a good example for this dominance. They were mutually dependent on one another and the ways of cooperation were diverse, but the emotional bond and loyalty was of primary importance in their relationship too.