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Labour Sector Analysed In Special Issue of Journal

2013/06/27 09:48:24 AM

Two UKZN academics have edited a special issue of the SA Review of Sociology (SARS) Journal published this month. They are Dr Shaun Ruggunan of the Discipline of Human Resources Management in the College of Law and Management Studies, and a colleague, Dr Debby Bonnin, Industrial, Organisational and Labour Studies in the College of Humanities.

Dr Shaun Ruggunan and Dr Debby Bonnin holding a copy of the SA Review of Sociology journal. 

SARS - the official journal of the South African Sociological Association - is co-published by Routledge and UNISA Press. 

As guest editors, Ruggunan and Bonnin solicited papers on the theme, which focuses on the changing nature of professional work in South Africa, and also authored a guest editorial and two empirical papers on the subject.

Their role involved editing solicited papers as well as analytical work looking at the ways in which the economy, careers, work and workplaces are rapidly being restructured globally. 

In their editorial titled: “Towards a South African Sociology of Professions”, the academics suggest that in post-apartheid South Africa an examination of professional occupations has become increasingly important in assessing the success of the state’s project to “deracialise” the labour market.

They say the empirical work can be used to engage the Sociology of Professions literature and in turn shape and challenge that literature from a South African/southern perspective.

The paper also puts into perspective the role of the National Development Plan and the Planning Commission in the area of improving the accountability and service delivery of the state. 

Ruggunan believes this represents a good example of cross college and interdisciplinary co-operation that has been encouraged by UKZN's restructuring process. 

‘Some of the most interesting and unique projects are the outcomes of cross college and interdisciplinary research teams. We tend to work in departmental silos, and are not always aware of the synergies and opportunities for research across the various UKZN colleges. Most funders actively encourage multidisciplinary research teams and student collaborations,’ said Ruggunan.

Ruggunan and Bonnin view multidisciplinary research as a crucial tool in addressing complex challenges facing society and are keen on exploring synergies and areas of mutual academic interest across the disciplines of industrial sociology and human resources management.

Bonnin said: ‘The articles published in this special issue of the South African Review of Sociology cover a wide number of topics from policing to health to security guards.  The work practically demonstrates the advantage of a broader disciplinary approach when embarking upon research.’

For more information on the  journal

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