The Methodological Divide of Sociology: Evidence from Two Decades of Journal Publications

Faculty/Professorship: Political Sociology  ; Sociological Theory  
Author(s): Schwemmer, Carsten; Wieczorek, Oliver 
Title of the Journal: Sociology
ISSN: 0038-0385
Publisher Information: London [u.a.] : Sage
Year of publication: 2019
Volume: 54
Issue: 1
Pages: 19 ; Online-Ressource
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/0038038519853146
Past research indicates that Sociology is a low-consensus discipline, where different schools of thought have distinct expectations about suitable scientific practices. This division of Sociology into different subfields is to a large extent related to methodology and choices between qualitative or quantitative research methods. Relying on theoretical constructs of the academic prestige economy, boundary demarcation and taste for research, we examine the methodological divide in generalist Sociology journals. Using automated text analysis for 8737 abstracts of articles published between 1995 and 2017, we discover evidence of this divide, but also of an entanglement between methodological choices and different research topics. Moreover, our results suggest a marginally increasing time trend for the publication of quantitative research in generalist journals. We discuss how this consolidation of methodological practices could enforce the entrenchment of different schools of thought, which ultimately reduces the potential for innovative and effective sociological research.
GND Keywords: Soziologie; Forschungsmethode; Fachzeitschrift; Wissenschaftssoziologie; Geschichte 1995-2017
Keywords: Natural Language Processing, Research Methodology, Scientometrics, Sociology of Science, Sociology of Sociology
DDC Classification: 300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology  
RVK Classification: MP 8000   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Article
Year of publication: 26. July 2019