The recent introduction by law of research assessment in the Italian academic system has triggered a wide debate especially focused on its weakness and paradoxes as well as its potential negative effects on disciplinary autonomy and freedom of research. Contrary to this vision, in this paper I argue that eva- luation mechanisms should be welcomed in those disciplinary fields - as sociology in Italy - which for historical, cultural and political causes have not been able to organize themselves as scientific communities, i.e. as communities of practice grounded on peer control and evaluation. The paper offers a brief sociological analysis of the social organization of Italian academic sociology, highlighting the deleterious effects on scientific communication and value recognition fostered by its segmentation in mutually exclusive, sometimes conflicting sometimes colluding, corporate groups (so called «component»). Far from being an assault on its freedom and autonomy, a state-backed system of evaluation may be instrumental to the creation and legitimation of a disciplinary culture of self evaluation and value assessment according to transparent, institutionalized and not provincial quality standards.