The formation of (academic) occupations into professions is not a new phenomenon, especially the successful establishment of lawyers, medicos and some other academics as professional freelancers attracted the interest of sociologists (cf. Parsons 1951; Freidson 1970). Moreover, several academic occupations successfully started the process to become a profession during the last decades and therefore the sociology of professions gained more attention. Evaluation is one of these academic endeavors and its history encourages taking a closer look at the professionalization process so far. As seen in earlier chapters, evaluation has attracted people around the world in founding professional associations, and a rising number of organizations — from public administration to private business and civil society actors — are commissioning evaluations. However, whether or not this development can be called professionalization is questioned here. In doing so, it is first necessary to develop some criteria for assessing professionalization processes. These criteria will be derived from a brief overview on professionalization theories in the first part of this chapter.
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