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I was wondering if there is any particular word for 'discrimination on the basis of profession/professional rank'.

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Can you elaborate, and provide some examples? I can think of two: "He must not be very smart; he's just a janitor," or "He can't be honest, he's a lawyer," but it's hard to tell if your driving at that, or something else. – J.R. Dec 26 '12 at 11:59
@BillFranke: It's worth noting that these kinds of faulty assumptions could go the other way around, too. "He's a priest, so he must be honest," e.g., or, "She's a schoolteacher, so she must have a lot of patience around kids." This isn't always rooted in a spirit of haughtiness; it could be due to misplaced awe, too. – J.R. Dec 26 '12 at 13:23
There's also rankism en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankism – Autoresponder Dec 26 '12 at 16:42
Elitism is a hypernym, covering family class, wealth, professional and religious status, looks... – Edwin Ashworth Dec 26 '12 at 20:18
Maybe it is referring to something like this: in a legal case about malpractice, if someone on the jury panel is a physician, then one of the lawyers will want him excluded. – GEdgar Dec 26 '12 at 21:09

I think words like Rankism or Classism may fit your bill.

Wikipedia defines them as:

Rankism is "abusive, discriminatory, or exploitative behavior towards people because of their rank in a particular hierarchy".

Classism is prejudice or discrimination on the basis of social class. It includes individual attitudes and behaviors, systems of policies and practices that are set up to benefit the upper classes at the expense of the lower classes.

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Not a single word, but professional snobbery describes exactly that.

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Hard to make much of a living as a professional snob. :) – tchrist Dec 26 '12 at 19:31
@tchrist: I guess you'll have to stick with professional slob. That's where the big bucks are anyways. – Robusto Jan 10 '13 at 22:39

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