Administrative sociology and apartheid

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • SDG 10
  • Abstract:

    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.