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Professions and Proficiency

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  • Open Access
  • © 2023

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  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
  • Discusses meanings of knowledge, competence and proficiency in the context of place and space
  • Presents novel perspectives on the social production of knowledge in professions
  • Collects detailed empirical case studies on a variety of occupations and professions

Part of the book series: Knowledge and Space (KNAS, volume 18)

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Table of contents (12 chapters)


About this book

This open access book takes an original view on the social production of knowledge in and across space. It explores how people build and transfer proficiency within and beyond the bounds of social groups. Social groups, such as professions, epistemic communities, or academic disciplines, collectively organize to help individuals gain understanding of and knowledge about specific subjects of expertise. Yet, at the same time, they frame legitimate ways of thinking and learning, and they sanction other ways of knowing that are collectively seen as false, inelegant, or inappropriate etc. Acknowledging the interdependency between proficiency and professions, the interdisciplinary contributions to this volume focus on three aspects. Part I looks into the social processes of professions and what actually makes qualifications, competence and proficiency. Part II elaborates on the dynamics that transform intangible knowledge by exploring, for instance, the legitimacy of scientists withinsociety. Part III gives insights into how space influences the development of professional work, for instance, by reconstructing the historical formation of the psychology profession in Argentina. This volume provides a valuable read for scholars, students, and professionals in the fields of innovation, knowledge creation and governance.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Geography, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

    Johannes Glückler

  • School of Education, Communication and Society, King#x2019;s College London, London, UK

    Christopher Winch

  • Formerly associated with Department of Geography, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

    Anna Mateja Punstein

About the editors

Johannes Glückler is Professor of Economic and Social Geography and Fellow of the Marsilius Center for Advanced Studies at Heidelberg University. In his research he follows a relational perspective and builds on theories of social networks and institutions in the study of the geography of knowledge and regional development. He is a founding board member of the German Society for Social Network Research DGNet and co-founder of the M.Sc. Governance of Risks and Resources at the Heidelberg Center for Latin America in Santiago de Chile. 

Christopher Winch is currently Professor of Educational Philosophy and Policy in the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London. He is a philosopher of education with a particular interest in professional education, professional judgement, qualifications and the assessment of professional competence. He has taken part in research projects concerned with professional qualifications in Europe, including work on the European Qualification Framework. This appeared as “Knowledge, Skills and Competence in the European Labour Market, 2011”, co-authored with Linda Clarke, Michaela Brockmann, Georg Hanf, Philippe Méhaut and Anneke Westerhuis. He is also the author of “ Dimensions of Expertise”  2010, an analysis of professional know-how and expertise. 

Anna Mateja Punstein currently works as a corporate quality engineer. She was a Research Associate in Economic Geography at the Institute of Geography at Heidelberg University, Germany until 2022, where she also received her PhD in 2020. Her fields of interest include geographical research on innovation, business services and epistemology, focusing particularly on value creation at the intersection between services and industries as well as on cooperation during product development.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Professions and Proficiency

  • Editors: Johannes Glückler, Christopher Winch, Anna Mateja Punstein

  • Series Title: Knowledge and Space

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-24909-9Published: 17 March 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-24912-9Published: 17 March 2023

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-24910-5Published: 16 March 2023

  • Series ISSN: 1877-9220

  • Series E-ISSN: 2543-0580

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 270

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Human Geography, Social Sciences, general

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