Sociologists engage in a lot of hang-wringing about the perception of the field. One theory goes that sociology is not perceived as scientific enough and, as a result, sociologists are not taken as seriously. The usual comparison is to economics, which is seen as both incredibly influential in policymaking and as being endowed with more scientificity by various actors.
In contrast, Beth Popp Berman and I, along with other scholars who study economists’ influence, have argued that the political power of economics (vis-a-vis sociology) does not run primarily through general public opinion about scientificity. Rather, we argue that economists are influential because of their role in particular policymaking institutions (like the Federal Reserve) and through shaping the mindset of policymaking elites (in law schools and public policy schools, say).
Was recently asked what I thought was most important text published in the past 5 years in soc of race/ethnicity. Tho it’s hard to pick 1, the question got me re-reading notes from past years, rediscovering how many amazing texts there’ve been. What say you, Twitter colleagues?
This tweet produced a lot of great answers and interesting discussion. One thing that struck me in trying to compose my own answer is that beyond some really excellent work in the sociology of race proper (my answers were Golash Boza 2016 and Fields & Fields 2012), there’s also been a tremendous amount of fantastic work at the intersection of the sociology of race and various other subfields.