Society of African Journal Editors

South African Journal of Sociology

Die professionaliseerbaarheid van die sosiologie

Authors: Anna F. Steyn

Journal: South African Journal of Sociology

One of the most important changes in the occupational system of the modern industrialised society is the growing importance of professions in societal context, and an increasing demand for the professionalization ofoccupations: Sociology is no exception to this, and the question with regard to the feasibility of the professionalization of sodology has received increasing attention during tbe past three decaaes.

Although the necessity for the application ofsociological knowledge had been realized right from its inception, it was only during World War II and thereafter that sociological knowledge found wider application in a growing number of fields.

Although the increasing application ofsociological knowledge hasbrought the question of professionalization into prominence more strongly, this increasing application does not establish sodology as a profession as a matter of course, since a profession entai1s more than simply the application of knowledge. To be able to answer the question whethersodology is a profession, a thorough analysis of the concepts “profession” and “projessionalization” is made here to establish what qualifications must be complied with before an occupation can be seen as a profession; thereafter an analysis is made ofsociowgy to determine to what extent it does satisfy the requirements of a profession and whether it is moving in the direction of professionalization of sociology, attention is mainly given (l) to the problem of value freedom- in the application ofsociowgical knowledge; (2) to the question whether sociowgy should have an “enlightenment” or an “engineering” junction: and (3) to what extent sociology should be organised as a profession by a professional association.