Strat theorists, ngram waves

As followup to today’s stratification syllabus, here’s how our leading theorists (at least the ones in my class) have fared in American English book references since the 1860s.

Two things. First is the waves. Marx, Weber and Parsons have their peaks in the early 1970s; Durkheim and MacKinnon peaked in the 1990s; Bourdieu may not have peaked yet as of 2008 (why doesn’t Google update this thing?).

Second is something about generational ripples, with within-theorist peaks repeating at intervals, such as Weber, Durkheim and (to a lesser degree) Parsons in 1970s and 1990s. The 70s and 90s might just be peaks in sociology publishing.

Anyway, the generational wave theory bodes well for a MacKinnon rebound.

You can play with this here.

7 thoughts on “Strat theorists, ngram waves

  1. Poor Herbert Spencer–doesn’t even make your chart despite having influence in the 1890s equal to Marx in the 1970s, according to the Google ngram machine. Also, I think Émile Durkheim is paying a price for not having a name that easily translates into ASCII.


Comments welcome (may be moderated)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s