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The process of becoming a politician as a factor in the formation of professionalism

As politics becomes a profession, it becomes necessary to develop the methodological foundations of its understanding as a special type of professional activity. In this regard, we turn to the research of scientists, the subject of analysis of which was the problem of studying professional activity as such.

First of all, they emphasize that in order to achieve mastery in any profession (this is also true in relation to politics), the initial stage of professional activity, called "growing into a profession" (E.M. Borisova), is of particular importance. A characteristic feature of this period is accurately reflected in the philosophical category of “formation” as a process, the main feature of which is that the existence of a phenomenon (in this case, a professional politician) has already begun, but has not yet acquired a completed form.

The importance of this stage is due to the arrival of people in politics, including those who were previously far from it (for example, representatives of science, business, art, and the military). After a short period of time, it becomes obvious that the mere fact of their election or appointment to a post in the political sphere is clearly not enough for the subject to become a political figure. It is likely that some of the "beginners" with certain independent efforts will be able to reach the pinnacles of professional excellence. However, a similar path, as practice shows, is fraught with a period of political “trial and error,” requires a considerable amount of time and inevitably leads to social costs. Therefore, the preparation of politicians for the performance of their functions becomes an essential factor in the movement toward professionalism.

The process of mastering a new - political - activity is quite complicated. Two aspects can be distinguished in it: vocational training and adaptation. Vocational training involves special training. At the same time, we draw attention to the fact that the existing models of training political personnel are primarily focused on the transfer of a certain amount of knowledge and technology, losing sight of the second side, no less significant for the professional development of politicians, namely adaptation. This, in our opinion, is connected with the assumption that there is no essential specificity of political activity in comparison with other types of social activity.

As studies show, many deputies of regional authorities (unlike the federal one) perceive themselves not so much as politicians and legislators, but as people who continue their previous activities (doctors, teachers, economists, managers of various profiles) at a new level and by other means . Such a conclusion was made by the famous American political psychologist C. Pruitt, who several decades ago described that, in his opinion, the paradoxical fact that among Americans elected to representative bodies, the proportion of people growing from state to district level increases. not considering their activity as political activity.

In addition, political activity is often correlated and even identified with certain professions (lawyer, economist, manager). Therefore, it is believed that politicians who have represented these professions in the past have no problem of becoming, as such. Indeed, it is much easier for a specialist in economics or law to become professionals in the political sphere. However, in our opinion, political activity does not completely coincide with any particular profession or type of education. Therefore, no matter what knowledge or skills a person possesses within the framework of a past profession, he is faced, to one degree or another, with the most important psychological problem of adaptation, psychological adaptation to the requirements of the new political sphere of labor.

This also applies to those specialists who not only have the appropriate education, but for whom the analysis of social and political processes is the content of their professional activity. The example of E.T. Gaidar is indicative in this regard. In his book, “Days of defeat and victory,” he recalls that, despite a deep knowledge of economic problems, practical work as one of the leaders of the Government of the Russian Federation turned out to be a very difficult task for him, different from the work of the “cabinet” scientist.

Practically the same thing is stated by George W. Bush, who writes in one of his works: “No school or instructor will teach how to be a congressman, minister or president, because each of these posts presents special requirements for a person.
Other work experience, of course, can help, but it does not guarantee success. There are things that cannot be understood until you take this post. "

The difficulty of growing into a new profession is connected, first of all, with the fulfillment of new functional duties and the inclusion of new relationships in the system. A person entering politics faces a change in the social context of his life, which makes other demands on his private life (for example, the degree of his publicity). On this occasion, C. Pruitt wrote: "It is clear that a politically active role cannot only be added to other responsibilities and activities." According to another American researcher, D. Barber, "a person enters a political career by breaking off (or severely distorting) his connections with his usual professional role and status."

You should also take into account the fact that, as a rule, people come into active politics in adulthood, being established personalities and subjects of certain professions. Each of them "carries" into politics professional stereotypes that have developed within the framework of the former sphere of activity and expressed up to professional personality deformations. So, for example, as noted by V. G. Zazykin, teachers with a long experience can be overwhelmingly and didactic; representatives of the “exact sciences” can perceive many complex social phenomena mechanically and simplistically, which affects the nature of assessments and decisions made. If a team (for example, a committee of a representative body) gathered representatives of different professions with significant experience in their field, then their psychological professional deformations can become a source of psychological incompatibility.

There are other problems of this period. On the one hand, the greater success a person has achieved in his usual sphere of activity, the more socially “noticeable” he is, the higher the likelihood that he will be able to “enter” politics using the appropriate image. At the same time, it is very difficult for a true professional to completely switch to another - a political type of activity, to "move away" from his work and pay less attention to it. In such a situation, the politician has a very difficult choice: to become a professional in politics or to remain a “part-time politician” (as M. Weber puts it). Moreover, for many famous people who have become politicians by the will of circumstances, such as, for example, the State Duma deputy, Nobel laureate J. Alferov, full concentration on politics is, in all probability, impossible.

When analyzing the problem of professional adaptation to the role of a politician, one should also take into account that political activity is not only quite complicated, but also tense. This is noted by both researchers and practical politicians.

This side of political life is not a feature of only our country or transition periods. American political psychologist D. Barber also states that the work of a person involved in legislative activity is exhausting and its conditions are difficult. The English psychologist Cooper, when ranking the level of stressfulness of professions, gave the political profession a score of "7", which is comparable with the performance of such professions as miners - 8.3 points and police - 7.7 points. According to experts of the domestic magazine "Profile", the profession of a politician is in fifth place in terms of health hazards.

All of the above confirms that a prerequisite for effective and successful political and personal work plans is a psychological readiness for political activity, and its development is one of the central directions in the formation of professionalism of political subjects.
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The process of becoming a politician as a factor in the formation of professionalism

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