TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2008-02 > 1202593317
Subject: Re: [TGF] Mary Petty - a transitional-genealogist's viewpointonProfessional Genealogy
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2008 15:41:57 -0600
> As practitioners in the industry of Professional Genealogy
>Because there is no industry-wide standardized professional route
Mary, you raise an interesting point when you refer to the "*industry* of
professional genealogy." Amid all our discussion of who and what we are,
you've presented another angle: Are we an industry or are we a profession?
Traditionally, there has been a division between these two. Just now, I
checked three major dictionaries--two American and one international, since
we have international participants on this list--and my interpretation of
these definitions is that the divide still exists. Generally speaking,
industry applies to manufacture and commerce. Profession, on the other hand,
applies to careers or "practices" that are more "scholarly" or more
"learned" (the two-syllable word, not the one-syllable word)--which
genealogical research certainly is.
The definition of "profession" as given by Webster's (last item below)
seems, to me, to most-accurately describe a genealogical practice. Of
course, there is, indeed, a genealogical "industry" composed of those who
manufacture and sell genealogical goods or materials--but that is separate
and apart from the *profession* of genealogy. Moreover, the standards
applied by that *industry* are generally interpreted by them as standards
for product engineering, etc., rather than the *research* standards that
drive the professional field or discipline of genealogy. (This is a point
driven home every time professional genealogists try to discuss "standards"
with Ancestry and other providers of databases and software.)
_Compact Oxford English Dictionary_
Origin: Latin industria ‘diligence’
1 economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and
manufacture of goods in factories.
2 a particular branch of economic or commercial activity.
3 hard work.
1 a paid occupation, especially one involving training and a formal
2 a body of people engaged in a profession.
_American Heritage Dictionary_
1 Commercial production and sale of goods.
2 A specific branch of manufacture and trade: the textile industry. See
Synonyms at business.
3 The sector of an economy made up of manufacturing enterprises: government
regulation of industry.
4 Industrial management.
5 Energetic devotion to a task or an endeavor; diligence: demonstrated great
intelligence and industry as a prosecutor.
1 An occupation or career: "One of the highest compliments a child can pay a
parent is to choose his or her profession" (Joan Nathan).
2 An occupation, such as law, medicine, or engineering, that requires
considerable training and specialized study.
3 The body of qualified persons in an occupation or field: members of the
4 An act or instance of professing; a declaration.
"Any branch of trade, business, production, or manufacture; as, the paper
industry, the motion-picture industry.
"A vocation or occupation requiring advanced training in some liberal art or
science, and usually involving mental rather than manual work, as teaching,
engineering, writing, etc.: especially, medicine, law, or theology."
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Course leader, Advanced Research Methodology & Evidence Analysis
Samford University Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research
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