The Lay and Professional Public and the Institutional Development of Sociology

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
Jaroslaw KILIAS, Institute of Sociology, Warsaw University, Poland
The paper deals with the processes of the institutionalization and professionalization of sociology, and attempts to describe the relation between the development of various types of sociological institutions and the sociological public. The sociology came out of the interplay between at least three circles: general lay public, academia, at which many sociologists worked before the discipline had been officially recognized, and the professional public, which emerged as the final product of the establishment of the academic sociology.

Most of institutional histories are case studies, while the comparative ones deal mostly with the formal academic institutions. In my paper I will compare four cases that represent a variety of timing and development paths of the institutional development of this social science branch: France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain and Italy, in order to understand the relation between the development of academic and extra-academic institutions and the change of the sociological public, including the formation of a fully professional one. My hypothesis is that despite most institutional histories seem to suggest, that the most important moment in the development of the discipline is the establishment of academic institutions, the institutionalization often remains shallow and the discipline remains fragile. In my opinion the key moment is when the discipline is able to reproduce itself without any serious interference with lay public or other branches of social science.