Research in the sociology of the professions is, today, largely founded on the contributions of two people, Talcott Parsons and Everett Hughes. The starting point for Parsons's discussion was his critique of utilitarian economics in The Structure of Social Action. Parson's general work has suffered badly from an excess of critical zeal in which the complexity and development of his thought has been obscured in an overall lambasting of functionalism. His writings on the professions, however, belong, in the main, to a pre-functionalist period when Parson's main intellectual stimulus came from Weber rather than Freud. Hughes maintained his interest in the professions throughout his career. It is more difficult to present his contribution in a synthetic fashion: like most Chicago sociologists, as Rock has demonstrated, he had less grandiose preoccupations. Two concepts are particularly important in Hughes's thought: licence and mandate. Hughes emphasizes that both licence and mandate should be thought of in the broadest terms.