THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE CHILD WELFARE WORKER
The sociology of occupations is a well-developed specialization, its justification deriving from the fact that each distinctive occupation is a subculture. It has its own language, its own special patterns of thought, its own special values, its own special ways of relating to the other occupational groups with which it cooperates, its own concerns and problems, its own knowledge and skills, and its own demography. Each occupation has its particular pressures and anxieties and its own particular areas of conflict between the mores of the occupation and the mores of the surrounding culture. Each occupation is a miniature social world, with its own distinctive sociopsychological milieu. One of the principal responsibilities of professional education is the socialization of recruits to the professional subculture, the "community of occupation" ( Goode, 1957, p. 195). Greenwood ( 1957) notes:
The transformation of a neophyte into a professional is essentially an acculturation process wherein he internalizes the social values, the behavior norms, and the symbols of the occupational group. In its frustrations and rewards, it is fundamentally no different from the acculturation of an immigrant to a relatively strange culture [p. 53].
As is true of a distinctive ethnic group, members of an occupational subculture have a sense of mutual identification, a recognition of their special differences from other people in the wider community. This is sometimes called the professional self or the sense of the professional identity--the explicit self- awareness on the part of a person that he/she is a social worker and that he/ she behaves in accordance with the way people identified as members of this occupational group should behave. Differential association, the need to associate primarily with members of the occupation on the job and often the choice of such associates during leisure time, tends to reinforce the effects of professional education in shaping the occupational identity.
This solidarity is further enhanced by some homogeneity in the kind of people selecting an occupation. The nature of the occupational tasks tends to