Society of African Journal Editors

South African Journal of Sociology

Bedryfsosiologie as Spesialiseringsgebied in Suid-Afrika

Authors: Johann Strauss

Journal: South African Journal of Sociology

INDUSTRIAL SOCIOLOGY AS A SPECIALIZED FIELD OF STUDY IN SOUTH AFRICA: Industrial sociology is a specialized branch of sociology and it is pre-eminentely an applied branch of sociology. The sociologist's concern in industry — and by industry we mean not only a factory, but any enterprise in which people cooperate to produce goods or offer services — is really an interest in human relationships in commerce and industry. According to Homans, the concept of labour (work) should not be seen purely as an economic activity, but also as especially as a social activity. It includes activities (what people do) and interaction (actions carried out in relation to one another). Industrial sociology, which according to Miller and Form, two American sociologists, became established as an applied branch of sociology in America in 1946, is one of sociology's more recent fields of specialization. Also in South Africa it is one of the more recent specialized areas in sociology. It exists an an independent department at South African universities only since 1968, and only at five universities — the universities of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Potchefstroom, Orange Free State and Rhodes. At two more South African universities. Durban-Westville and Natal, it is also lectured, but as part of sociology and not through a separate department. In South Africa, with its recent phenomenal industrial and technological growth and its vast plans for future development in these fields, the need for research in industrial sociology is not only extremely desirable, but also absolutely essential. We can only hope that more research and investigations will be done in this field in the near future, especially research applicable and relevant to South African circumstances.