Hello, My Name Is "Sociology": Situating Introductory Texts in the Professional Literature

Dan Steward, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This paper/presentation explores the topicalities of a corpus of introductory sociology texts with the corpus of the professional literature (e.g., articles appearing in the "Amerian Journal of Sociology," the "American Sociological Review," and other leading journals). Close readings of selected texts are situated within a more distant reading of corpora using techniques like topic modeling. The paper addresses questions about various fragments of the corpus of introductory texts (e.g., how do early texts like the "Green Bible" compare with recent offerings? how do conventional undergraduate textbooks compare with texts [like "The Sociological Imagination"] introducing the field to a larger reading public?). The paper also addresses the question of whether (and to what extent) the corpus of introductory texts reflects the state of knowledge amongst professional sociologists. The answers to these questions are tentative and preliminary but should inform discussions of the curriculum and guide the development of undergraduate courses.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 1. Ranking Evidence, Evidencing Rank