Bastian / Yakel (15 July 2004) ICA Vienna 1
Towards the Development of an Archival Core Curriculum:
The United States and Canada
Jeannette A. Bastian, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College
Elizabeth Yakel, School of Information, University of Michigan
The English philosopher Francis Bacon famously argued that "knowledge is power"
in his 1597 work Meditationes Sacræ. De Hæresibus. Although Bacon was referring to the
need for more rigorous empirical practices in science, in the realm of professions, knowledge
has also been tied to power. Sociologists of professions consistently cite a specific
knowledge base as one of the distinguishing features of a profession, both as a unifying
element and as a means of accumulating power. Magali Sarfatti Larson, for example, argues
that "the professionalization process binds together two elements...a body of relatively
abstract knowledge, susceptible of practical application, and a market,"
Abbott discusses this knowledge both in terms of knowledge in use as well as an abstract,
formal knowledge system.
For Eliot Freidson,
professionalism is a set of institutions that
permit members of an occupation to make a living and control their own work. Freidson
further defines professionalism as having four major characteristics: An officially recognized
body of knowledge and skill based on abstract concepts and theories; an occupationally
negotiated division of labor; an occupationally controlled labor market based on training
credentials; and an occupationally controlled training program associated with a university.
All three of these theorists connect the evolution of a profession with the development of a
core knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, once that is officially recognized as well