Accreditation of Sociology Programs: A Bridge to a Broader Audience

Canadian Journal of Sociology, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview

Accreditation of Sociology Programs: A Bridge to a Broader Audience


Abstract: As more individuals trained in sociology find jobs outside academia, the demands for appropriate training, particularly at the undergraduate and master's level, have increased. Sociology must become visible and pertinent to a broader audience beyond academia. This paper begins with definitions from the sociology of professions and then explores the problems facing sociology: its nebulous nature, its interests in professional jurisdictions, and the employability of sociologists outside academia in the United States. Accreditation is proposed as a foundation for credentialing and one method of improving the quality of applied and clinical sociological training.

Resume: Alors que de plus en plus de diplomes en sociologie trouvent un emploi en dehors de l'universite, le besoin d'une instruction convenable, particulierement au niveau licence et maitrise, a augmente. La sociologie doit se manifester pertinemment a un public plus vaste au dela du monde universitaire. Cet article commence par definir la sociologie des professions puis explore les problemes que confronte la sociologie: sa nature obscure, son interet marque pour les juridictions professionnelles, et les debouches des sociologues en dehors de l'universite. Une reconnaissance officielle est presentee comme la base de toute certification et comme moyen d'ameliorer la qualite de l'instruction sociologique clinique et appliquee.

The future of sociology may well rest on its ability to build bridges to different audiences in academia, government, and the private employment sector. Building bridges involves bringing some congruence to the value orientations and priorities of sociological scholars and practitioners. Sociology appears to lack an agreed-upon central core of knowledge and consensus on how to apply that knowledge to the service of society. As more sociologists find employment outside colleges and universities they apparently dissolve their ties with the discipline and, by implication, their identities as sociologists. Whether, how, and where to train people who will become practitioner-clinicians has emerged as an issue for disciplinary debate. In the United States, controversy centers on the need for and role of credentialing.

This paper presents a case for accreditation within the context of the sociological literature on occupations and professions. Distinctions are made between the three structural components of profession, discipline, and practice as well as the three credentialing procedures of certification, accreditation, and licensure. The literature on recent trends in sociology is reviewed as background for exploring two more general issues: the training of technicians and practitioners, and the accreditation processes in other disciplines. Accreditation of undergraduate and master's programs in applied and clinical sociology is then proposed as one way of meeting the challenge to both strengthen sociology and broaden its audience.

Sociology and the Sociology of Professions

Sociology has always had one foot in the real world. The early sociological theorists -- Marx, Durkheim, Weber, Simmel and Mannheim -- studied the relevant social problems of their day. Their theoretical constructs were the byproducts of their research interests, not a search for grand theory (Horowitz, 1993). And several prominent U.S. sociologists of the last half of the 20th century, including Lazarsfeld, Lipset, Blau, Duncan, Kanter, and Coleman, have done likewise. These individuals are boundary spanners between teacher researchers or colleague dependent-professionals and practitioners or client-dependent professionals (see Freidson, 1970: 75; 1986: 211-212). Freidson (1986: 82) maintained that the division between academics and practitioners in the professions is hierarchical in nature and one around which there has been a good deal of tension and resentment throughout history, at least in law, medicine, and engineering. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Accreditation of Sociology Programs: A Bridge to a Broader Audience
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.