Although sociological discourses are multiple and varied, with deeply critical versions
challenging the auspices of apartheid, there is also a strand of what I call ‘administrative
sociology’ that actively defined, supported and defended the vanguard of apartheid
thinking and practice. It cloaked its biopolitical commitments beneath images of
scientific neutrality, casting as necessary its assertions about apartheid society. The
legacy of this strand of sociology remains subject to few explicit critiques, and its
complicity in social atrocities is under-referenced (despite the decisive role of such
professors of sociology as Hendrik Verwoerd, Jan De Wet Keyter and Geoffrey Cronjé).
This article charts a brief genealogy of administrative sociology in context, focusing
especially on the approach Cronjé adopted in his inaugural address, and indicating
several dangers that attend to this sort of administrative sociology whose logic is still
evident in strands of the discipline.