Communication in the Helping Professions

Authored by: Katherine I. Miller , Jennifer R. Considine

Routledge Handbook of Applied Communication Research

Print publication date:  June  2009
Online publication date:  July  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805849837
eBook ISBN: 9780203871645
Adobe ISBN: 9781135231798


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We now live in a society driven by a service economy. Following the Industrial Revolution, most workers toiled at creating “things” through manufacturing, but today, the service sector drives the economy, particularly in the United States and other Western nations. As Meyer and DeTore (1999) reported, “The service-producing sector continues to lead projected employment growth and…the 10 leading industries, accounting for 60 percent of all projected job growth over the coming decade, are all service producers” (p. 64). Moreover, much of the “service” provided involves more than selling a cheeseburger, entering data, or making flight arrangements; instead, it requires intensive physical and emotional involvement between service providers and their clients. Workers involved in the provision of human and social services are employed in what are called the helping professions.

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