The Proliferation of Publishing: Economic Rationality and Ritualized Productivity in a Neoliberal Era

  • Joseph C. Hermanowicz
  • Published 2016

Abstract

Article publication in the field of sociology has proliferated. Data are presented on change in the number of sociology journals over time, the patterns of publication productivity by faculty in differently ranked sociology programs, and the patterns of article output by faculty of different age cohorts located in top-, middle-, and bottom-ranked sociology departments in the United States. Data are inconsistent with findings from the sociology of science, which elaborate a pattern of generally low productivity, and which describe sharp differences in publication by the age and organizational location in which academics work. The reasons for proliferation, attributable to historic shifts that have affected the terms of academic work in the late 20th century, are discussed. Proliferation of publication is not unique to sociology, but neither are its effects on fields monolithic. Comparisons and contrasts to other fields are made throughout the discussion. The proliferation of publication poses significant implications for the status of sociology and sociologists. While increased output may be associated with the advancement of science and scholarship in some disciplines, it is both a consequence and cause of demise in others.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Hermanowicz2016ThePO, title={The Proliferation of Publishing: Economic Rationality and Ritualized Productivity in a Neoliberal Era}, author={Joseph C. Hermanowicz}, year={2016} }