Ever since the British Sociological Association was founded its members have argued about whether sociology, or sociologists, should become professional. With few exceptions members of the Association have not seriously questioned the value of sociology; their arguments have been about what kind of sociology is needed and how its practitioners should be identified and stratified. Recently, market forces conducive to professionalism have increased significantly. The debate has quickened accordingly but we should remember that professionalism has remained a perennial topic of controversy among British sociologists during the last thirty years, despite wide fluctuations in the market for sociologists. Similar controversies have occurred within the ranks of cognate disciplines during the same period and in other countries as well as in Britain (see Tapper, 1980).