Occupations and Ideologies: A Conceptual Orientation
Luhman, Reid A.
Department of Sociology, University of Kansas
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One of the major problems in the sociology of occupations has been a tendency to accept concepts stemming from occupations themselves rather than from the development of a body of concepts logically separated from those ideological considerations. Occupational division of labor is accepted as a "given" in the course of much analysis with little attempt made to either explain the genesis of such a development or its subsequent interrelations with other elements of social systems. Much of this problem can be alleviated through an emphasis on process models which make conceptual distincti,ons between social and non-social factors affecting occupations. Occupations (or divided human work) form an elaborate system which ultimately derives from man's relation to his environment. Men are confronted by objective problems of survival with which they must deal. Such dealings contain a knowledge-technology factor in an objective sense (i.e., distinct from social meaning which may be imputed to that knowledge and technology). The division and allocation of knowledge and technology among occupations is the s ocLaL factor - the factor which in this model is labeled ideology. Ideology, the division and allocation of knowledge and technology in a society, then interacts with the environment affecting, first, the conceptualization of environmental problems and, secondly, the division of tasks with regard to those problems. As a result, not only is the social division of labor itself an ideology, but the environment in turn becomes categorized in terms of those conceptualizations.
Kansas Journal of Sociology, Volume 7, Number 2 (SUMMER, 1971), pp. 62-69 http://dx.doi.org/10.17161/STR.1808.4733
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