The 1980s and 1990s saw a flurry of interest in the history of the professions among historians and historical sociologists. Moving beyond studies of individual professions, an international group of scholars attempted to specify both the similarities and differences among multiple national contexts, and to establish a terminology that could be used across them to identify what counted as a “profession.” As part of that effort, the German historians Kocka and Conze have defined it as “a largely non-manual, full time occupation whose practice presupposes specialized, systematic and scholarly training.” Access to professions typically “depends upon passing certain examinations which entitle to titles and diplomas.” Professions “tend to demand a monopoly of services as well as freedom from control by others such as laymen, the state, etc.” [...]
Since the nineteenth century, a number of nation states have emerged. The process of nation building and the awareness of national identities ran parallel to what has often been termed ‘first-wave feminism’, that is, the growth in women’s organisations and discussions of gender identities, discussions of how to understand femininity and masculinity. These two historical processes have been studied separately until very lately. Now, some historians have taken an interest in unravelling the interaction of the two ideologies, nationalism and feminism. [...]
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