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The American Sociologist

, Volume 50, Issue 1, pp 63–84 | Cite as

Detecting Topical Divides and Topical “Bridges” Across National Sociologies

  • Konstantinos ZougrisEmail author
Article
  • 111 Downloads

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to describe the topical structure across national sociologies and detect the topic clusters contributing to the intellectual divide of the discipline. I employed a hybrid methodological style consisting of latent semantic analysis, topic polarization index and simple correspondence analysis to extract and map the topical divides across American and British sociological journals. The textual data were drawn from 11,793 abstracts published in 4 American, and 4 British journals in a 40-year period. My analysis revealed divisive publication preferences across the American and British journals. Topics associated with theory, methods, race, health, social class, crime, income inequality, aging, suicide, social networks, social movements and social status, appeared to contribute the most to the intellectual divides across American and British sociologies. The polarizing publication preferences on the core topics of theory and methods support former findings claiming that there is a fundamental epistemological divide across the two national sociological traditions. American journals tend to publish papers with an emphasis of methodology, while British journals show preference on papers with a theoretical focus. Finally, my findings revealed that core sociological topics relevant to social institutions such as marriage and family, labor, education, and stratification such as gender, immigration and occupational mobility contribute to the intellectual fusion of American and British sociologies.

Keywords

Sociology of knowledge National sociologies Latent semantic analysis Topic extraction Topic polarization Topic mapping 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hawaii-West O’ahuKapoleiUSA

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