The development of professional status, methods, character and standards which conform to a pattern for a given profession in a given country is a form of elitism, excluding newcomers on the basis of accepted (implied high) standards, whereas the real reason may be discrimination against another social group. Professionalism tends towards complacency and apathy in the face of new ideas or methods. Reverence for 'professional opinion' and the closed-shop aspect of professional organizations discourages individual initiative and may exploit the public with high consultancy fees. In sports or pastimes, professionalism discourages amateur participation.
Professionalism is particularly a phenomenon of capitalist countries, but it may exist in a disguised form in socialist countries, such as in sports where national prestige is at stake.