ERIC Number: ED165147
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Human Nature of Professionalism.
Ong, Walter J.
The issue of professional identity is of special concern to academicians in the humanities, especially those involved in the study of modern languages and literature. There is the problem of self-definition. Even reviewing the past of modern language and literature study affords no simple definition, as English as an academic subject has no clear ancestry and too many relatives. The confusion of ancestry and vagrancy of aims is further complicated by vigorous and rewarding hybridization with disciplines such as psychiatry, philosophy, and history. Singleness of professional purpose is also difficult to find. However, there is one feature that does practically unify today's academic teaching of modern languages and literature, and that is professionalism itself. A profession is a calling requiring long and intensive academic preparation to acquire knowledge that is to be put directly to the service of other human beings in a fiducial bond of trust. However, economic crisis and the technologizing of culture are creating problems in maintaining the high-mindedness that professionalism calls for. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association of America (93rd, New York City, December 27-30, 1978)