Book abstract: Professionals are a growing group in China and increasingly make their presence felt in governance and civil society. At the same time, however, professionals in the West are under increasing pressure from commercialism or scepticism about their ability to rise above self-interest. This book focuses on professionals in China and asks whether developing countries have a fateful choice: to embrace Western models of professional organization as they now exist, or to set off on an independent path, adapting elements of Western practices to their own historical and cultural situation. In doing so, the authors in this volume discuss a wealth of issues, including: the historic antecedents of modern Chinese professionalism; the implications of professionalism as an import in China; the impact of socialism, the developmental state and rampant commercialism on the professions in China; and the feasibility of liberal professions in an illiberal state. To conclude, the book considers whether there might be an emerging professionalism with Chinese characteristics, and how this might have an impact on the professions elsewhere. Prospects for the Professions in China will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese Studies, law, sociology, medical studies and cultural studies.
Winston, Kenneth, and William P. Alford. "Introduction." Prospects for the Professions in China. Ed. William P. Alford, Kenneth Winston, and William Kirby. Routledge, 2011.