Professions and the growth of private higher education 1810-1980 in Mexico
1. The main purpose of the present study is to present a more plausible account, than has been provided by either sociologists or historians, of the role played by public and private institutions of higher education in Mexico in professional training. 2. Second. Three sets of sociological theories- attribute analysis, functionalism and power analysis- have been applied to the analysis of private higher education in Mexico with the aim of trying out their usefulness as analyses. 3. It will be argued that the understanding of the process of development of the professions in a society like Mexico implies a completely different position to the functional and attribute approaches. It will be argued that: a) The development of the professions in Mexico is a result mainly of the social role which they have been given in a successive changes of power relations. That is, their development has not resulted from their capacity to deliver particular skills, or to have an autonomous organisations or ethical codes, as attribute or functionalist approaches assert. b) In the second place, it is proposed that Gramsci's idea of seeing hegemony allows us to understand the way higher education behave in relation to the intervention of the state. c) Third, following this theoretical proposal , historical analysis and case studies were adapted as most suitable methodological approach. 4. In conclusion, it is suggested that to understand the historical conflict between the Mexican state and the private institutions of higher education it is necessary to reconsider the theories about the role of professions in different societies in an historical perspective and an analysis of the power variables are vital for this understanding.