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Why Sociology May Always be the Field of 20 Years Ago

May 18, 2016 |  One min read

Kristin Thomson has posted an excellent piece on Medium that unpacks some of the major demographic features of the top 500 sociology texts in the syllabus corpus–particularly in regard to gender, age, and publication dates.  To hit a couple of the highlights:

Among the works on the list published since 1970, only 24% are by women authors:Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.07.20 PM

The periodization of the list also yields interesting results.  Sociology is predominantly a field built around 20-30 year old texts–a lag that possibly reflects some combination of generational seniority in the field (everyone teaches the major early works by senior figures) and perhaps a relevance horizon beyond which works no longer seem to speak to current issues.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 12.16.04 PM

This really whets my appetite for the day when we can do this natively in the Syllabus Explorer, across any combination of fields and texts.  The whole piece is worth a look.