Archives mensuelles : avril 2020

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Figure 3, which shows the most cited authors, further details this dual reception. Émile Durkheim received 2018 citations and Pierre Bourdieu 1863. Bruno Latour received 662 references, which puts him in an intermediate position between the first two and the following 6 authors, who each received more than 100 (from 220 for Tocqueville to 112 for Mauss). Beyond this elite group, the numbers drop abruptly. Two dozens authors are cited more than thirty times, but the others get less. After that, the numbers plummet towards zero.

The frequency of citation over time also varies greatly from one author to another. Focusing once again on the most cited authors, Figure 4 shows that the reference to Durkheim is stable over time in absolute numbers. This is not the case for Bourdieu, and to a lesser extent for Latour, who both have a strongly positive growth rate. Conversely, Boudon, Crozier and Touraine are now less cited than previously. The trend is particularly clear for Crozier. References to this author peaked in the 1980s, in the aftermath of the publication of the Bureaucratic Phenomenon, and then dropped continuously.

The previous analyses can be refined according to the varying forms of visibility. Table 1 features both the number of journals in which a given author is cited, and the journal that contributes most to his or her visibility. Some authors are present in all outlets, but although not dominating any particular outlet. That is the case for authors like Bourdieu and Durkheim. Other are less cited, and, more importantly, in a more local way. This is the case for Crozier, 30% of whose references come from Organization Studies. This is also the case for Boudon, whose work is mentioned in general journals and in those specialized in the sociology of education, but is absent from fully ten other journals. Such authors are not identified with one subfield only, but remain somewhat marked by what made them famous originally. Finally, others are heavily cited but only in a single sphere. This is the case for Callon, whose reception has remained minimal outside of science studies journals. 60% of the references to his work come from one journal, Social Studies of Science. Thus, while his work is not much cited in the discipline, it is absolutely central in this subfield.

% of journals citing this author Journal that most cites this author % of author’s total cites coming from this journal
Durkheim 100 Am Journal of sociology 11.4
Bourdieu 97 15.4
Tocqueville 94 Am Soc Review 11.8
Latour 82 Soc Studies Science 56.4

From Ollion & Abbott, « French Connections. The Reception of French Sociologists in the USA », in European Journal of Sociology, 2016.