article2 - Bringing Sociological Theory and Practice...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Bringing Sociological Theory and Practice Together: A Pragmatic Solution Harry Perlstadt Michigan State University Sociological Perspectives , 1998. 41:2 268-271 In his conclusion, Professor Turner (Turner, 1998) recommends that sociology use its theoretical principles to explain how sociology works in order to close the schism between theory and practice. In this response, I will attempt to identify some existing sociological knowledge and theories that led to the program of work and standards of the Commission on Applied and Clinical Sociology which Professor Turner mentioned in passing (Turner, 1998, p250). In addition, I will present some historical background that could help explain both the marginalization of sociological practice and the shunning of social engineering, and conclude with some pragmatic suggestions for integrated training in theory and practice. Applying Sociology of Professions By applying sociological theories and analyses of occupations and professions,
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
we can achieve Professor Turner's objective. The works of Durkheim (1933), Freidson (1986), and Abbott (1988) provide a theoretical basis for conceptualizing a profession which encompasses both a discipline that generates new knowledge and a practice that utilizes this knowledge whether it be called engineering, clinical practice, or applied research. I suspect that the preference for terms reflects whether the model is drawn from the physical, health, or social sciences. In addition, we should use the term discipline to refer to the development of abstract knowledge and instruction within and across academic institutions; the term practice to refer to the application of the knowledge system to diagnose, advise, counsel, intervene, and/or treat within an independent or entrepreneurial setting; and the term profession to refer to the umbrella covering both discipline and practice that fosters status and respect by establishing entrance examinations, practice standards, and codes of ethics to assure quality and protect the public. Freidson (1986) noted that quality assurance is symbolized in licensure by the state, certification by the professional association, and accreditation by the discipline. The first two credential individuals, while the latter endorses training programs. Furthermore, all three contribute to the field's niche or jurisdiction over the generation of knowledge and its application in practice (Abbott, 1988). Many fields go through a set of developmental stages to attain dominance over a
Background image of page 2
jurisdiction. Those that come later find jurisdictions already occupied. This is the case of sociology which finds itself effectively excluded from certain areas of practice by social work and clinical psychology, or competing with economics and political science in survey, market, and evaluation research. One step to improve the position of sociology is to begin accrediting programs in
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 9

article2 - Bringing Sociological Theory and Practice...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online