The 102 most cited works in sociology, 2008-2012

What books or journal articles are relevant to sociology today? Here are the 102101* works that were cited the most in sociology journals over the last five years. While the data comes from contemporary articles, the cited works could be from any year. In addition to the rank and citations, I also include the journals where the piece was cited the most, adjusted so that journals that publish many articles are not overrepresented. Additional details below the table.

If you want to explore relations among the cited works, check out the network version.

*[Note: Updated June 5, 2012 to add ASQ and Social Networks; remove articles with fewer than 10 cites (which are probably not articles), eliminate some duplicate articles; and add a link when WoS provides the article's DOI. There is now a three way tie for 99th, so only 101 journals make the list.]

Rank Cites Citation Modal Journals
1. 218 Bourdieu P 1984 Distinctions Social Sociological Theory, Theory and Society
2. 185 Granovetter MS 1973 Am J Sociol Social Networks, Administrative Science Quarterly
3. 174 Raudenbush SW 2002 Hierarchical Linear Sociology of Education, Criminology
4. 171 Putnam RD 2000 Bowling Alone Am Dec City & Community, Sociological Forum
5. 166 Wilson WJ 1987 Truly Disadvantaged City & Community, Criminology
6. 133 Denton Nancy A 1993 Am Apartheid Segrega City & Community, Criminology
7. 128 Mcpherson M 2001 Annu Rev Sociol Social Networks, Annual Review of Sociology
8. 127 Glaser BG 1967 Discovery Grounded T Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Qualitative Sociology
9. 124 Swidler A 1986 Am Sociol Rev Sociological Theory, American Journal of Sociology
9. 124 Coleman JS 1990 Fdn Social Thoery Rationality and Society, Journal of Mathematical Sociology
11. 123 Dimaggio PJ 1983 Am Sociol Rev Administrative Science Quarterly, Theory and Society
12. 122 Lareau A 2003 Unequal Childhood IM Sociology of Education, Annual Review of Sociology
13. 121 West C 1987 Gender Soc Gender & Society, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
14. 119 Goffman E 1959 Presentation Self EV Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Social Psychology Quarterly
15. 117 Anderson E 1999 Code Streets Criminology, Social Problems
16. 111 Sampson RJ 1997 Science Criminology, City & Community
17. 105 Meyer JW 1977 Am J Sociol Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology
18. 104 Giddens A 1991 Modernity Self Ident Sociology, Sociology of Health & Illness
19. 103 Hochschild A 1983 Managed Heart Commer Work and Occupations, Social Psychology Quarterly
20. 98 Granovetter M 1985 Am J Sociol Administrative Science Quarterly, Rationality and Society
20. 98 Bourdieu P 1977 Outline Theory Cultu Sociological Theory, Theory and Society
22. 96 Coleman JS 1988 Am J Sociol Sociology of Education, Sociological Perspectives
22. 96 Gottfredson MR 1990 Gen Theory Crime Criminology, Youth & Society
22. 96 Wilson WJ 1996 Work Disappears New City & Community, Criminology
25. 92 Snow DA 1986 Am Sociol Rev Mobilization, Social Problems
26. 91 Goffman E 1963 Stigma Notes Managem Social Psychology Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
27. 87 Hirschi T 1969 Causes Delinquency Criminology, Youth & Society
28. 86 Sewell WH 1992 Am J Sociol Sociological Theory, Theory and Society
28. 86 Long Jscott 1997 Regression Models CA Sociology of Education, Criminology
30. 85 Burt RS 1992 Structural Holes Sociological Theory, American Journal of Sociology
31. 84 Mead GH 1934 Mind Self Soc Standp Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Theory
32. 83 Portes A 1998 Annu Rev Sociol Rural Sociology, Sociology of Education
33. 82 Mclanahan Sara 1994 Growing Single Paren Journal of Marriage and Family, Sociology of Education
33. 82 Mcadam D 2001 Dynamics Contention Mobilization, Sociological Theory
35. 81 Mccarthy JD 1977 Am J Sociol Mobilization, Administrative Science Quarterly
36. 80 Alba RD 2003 Remaking Am Mainstre Annual Review of Sociology, Social Science Research
36. 80 Blau P 1967 Am Occupational Stru Sociology of Education, Annual Review of Sociology
36. 80 Radloff L S 1977 Applied Psychological Measurement Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Journal of Marriage and Family
39. 79 Portes A 2001 Legacies Story 2 Gen Sociological Perspectives, Sociology of Education
40. 78 Sampson RJ 2002 Annu Rev Sociol Criminology, City & Community
41. 77 Tilly C 1978 Mobilization Revolut Mobilization, Sociological Theory
41. 77 Bourdieu P 1990 Logic Practices Sociological Theory, Theory and Society
43. 75 Connell RW 1995 Masculinities SS Gender & Society, Sociology of Sport Journal
44. 74 Baron RM 1986 J Pers Soc Psychol Social Psychology Quarterly, Administrative Science Quarterly
45. 73 Benford RD 2000 Annu Rev Sociol Mobilization, Administrative Science Quarterly
45. 73 Edin K 2005 Promises I Can Keep Journal of Marriage and Family, Gender & Society
47. 70 Meyer JW 1997 Am J Sociol Administrative Science Quarterly, Annual Review of Sociology
47. 70 Blalock H 1967 Theory Minority Grou Criminology, Social Problems
47. 70 Bourdieu P 1992 Invitation Reflexive Sociological Theory, Acta Sociologica
50. 68 Gordon MM 1964 Assimilation America Sociological Perspectives, American Journal of Sociology
50. 68 Coleman J 1988 Am J Sociol Acta Sociologica, Sociological Perspectives
52. 67 Esping-andersen G 1990 3 Worlds Welfare Cap Acta Sociologica, Work Employment and Society
52. 67 Acker J 1990 Gender Soc Gender & Society, Work and Occupations
54. 66 Portes A 1993 Ann Am Acad Polit SS Sociological Perspectives, Demography
54. 66 Heckman JJ 1979 Econometrica Administrative Science Quarterly, Social Science Research
56. 65 Kanter RM 1977 Men Women Corporatio Work and Occupations, Gender & Society
56. 65 Garfinkel Harold 1967 Studies Ethnomethodo Sociological Theory, Gender & Society
58. 64 Giddens A 1984 Constitution Soc Out Sociological Theory, Theory and Society
59. 63 Hays S 1996 Cultural Contradicti Gender & Society, American Sociological Review
60. 62 Collins Randall 2004 Interaction Ritual C Sociological Theory, Social Psychology Quarterly
60. 62 Lamont M 2002 Annu Rev Sociol Annual Review of Sociology, City & Community
62. 61 Sampson RJ 1993 Crime Making Pathway Criminology, Sociological Perspectives
62. 61 Singer JD 2003 Appl Longitudinal DA Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Health and Social Behavior
62. 61 Jacobs JA 2004 Time Divide Family G Work and Occupations, American Sociological Review
65. 60 Pager D 2003 Am J Sociol American Journal of Sociology, Social Problems
65. 60 Rubin DB 1987 Multiple Imputation Sociology of Education, Social Science Research
67. 59 Bourdieu P 1986 Hdb Theory Res Socio Sociology, Sociology of Sport Journal
67. 59 Bumpass L 2000 Pop Stud-j Demog Journal of Marriage and Family, Demography
67. 59 Blumer H 1969 Symbolic Interaction Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Theory
67. 59 Tarrow S 1998 Power Movement Conti Mobilization, American Journal of Sociology
67. 59 Becker Gary S 1981 Treatise Family Journal of Marriage and Family, Demography
72. 58 Dimaggio P 1997 Annu Rev Sociol Sociological Forum, Administrative Science Quarterly
72. 58 Bianchi SM 2006 Changing Rhythms Ame Gender & Society, Journal of Marriage and Family
72. 58 Wooldridge Jeffrey M 2002 Econometric Anal Cro Sociological Methodology, Criminology
72. 58 Budig MJ 2001 Am Sociol Rev Gender & Society, Work and Occupations
76. 57 Blau PM 1977 Inequality Heterogen Sociology of Education, Sociological Methodology
76. 57 Shaw CR 1942 Juvenile Delinquency Criminology, Social Problems
76. 57 Correll SJ 2007 Am J Sociol Gender & Society, Work and Occupations
76. 57 Sampson RJ 1989 Am J Sociol Criminology, City & Community
80. 56 Blau PM 1964 Exchange Power Socia Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Rationality and Society
80. 56 Raftery AE 1995 Sociol Methodol Sociological Methods & Research, Social Forces
80. 56 Wasserman S 1994 Social Network Anal Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Sociological Methodology
83. 55 Allison PD 2002 Missing Data Sociology of Education, Work and Occupations
83. 55 Abbott A 1988 System Professions E Work and Occupations, Theory and Society
83. 55 Goffman E 1974 Frame Anal Essay Org Sociological Theory, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography
86. 54 Cherlin AJ 2004 J Marriage Fam Journal of Marriage and Family, Gender & Society
86. 54 Beck U 1992 Risk Soc New Moderni British Journal of Sociology, Work Employment and Society
88. 53 Putnam R 1993 Making Democracy Wor Acta Sociologica, Rural Sociology
88. 53 Kalmijn M 1998 Annu Rev Sociol Annual Review of Sociology, Acta Sociologica
90. 52 Lin N 2001 Social Capital Theor Sociology of Education, Acta Sociologica
90. 52 Allport GW 1954 Nature Prejudice 25 Sociology of Education, Social Psychology Quarterly
90. 52 Mcadam Douglas 1982 Political Process DE Mobilization, Social Problems
90. 52 Berger PL 1966 Social Construction Sociological Theory, Theory and Society
90. 52 Giddens A 1990 Consequences Moderni Sociology, British Journal of Sociology
95. 51 Royston P 2005 Stata J Journal of Marriage and Family, Work and Occupations
96. 50 Snijders T 1999 Multilevel Anal Intr Criminology, Social Psychology Quarterly
96. 50 Mcpherson M 2006 Am Sociol Rev Social Networks, Annual Review of Sociology
96. 50 Blair-loy M 2003 Competing Devotions Gender & Society, Work and Occupations
99. 49 Bianchi SM 2000 Soc Forces Journal of Marriage and Family, Gender & Society
99. 49 Bryk A 1992 Hierarchical Linear Sociology of Education, Journal of Health and Social Behavior
99. 49 Latour B 1987 Sci Action Theory and Society, British Journal of Sociology

Data is drawn from citations appearing in 5,471 articles published between 2008 and 2012 in 37 sociology journals. Articles data is from the Web of Science. The journals (followed by the number of articles in the data set) are: Acta Sociologica (78); Administrative Science Quarterly (74); American Journal of Economics and Sociology (201); American Journal of Sociology (166); American Sociological Review (184); Annual Review of Sociology (102); British Journal of Sociology (169); City & Community (78); Criminology (157); Demography (245); Gender & Society (143); Journal of Contemporary Ethnography (115); Journal of Health and Social Behavior (141); Journal of Marriage and Family (375); Journal of Mathematical Sociology (50); Mobilization (102); Qualitative Sociology (106); Rationality and Society (74); Rural Sociology (97); Social Forces (274); Social Networks (142); Social Problems (127); Social Psychology Quarterly (74); Social Science Research (396); Sociological Forum (160); Sociological Methodology (43); Sociological Methods & Research (87); Sociological Perspectives (85); Sociological Quarterly (131); Sociological Theory (69); Sociology (254); Sociology of Education (76); Sociology of Health & Illness (295); Sociology of Sport Journal (100); Theory and Society (102); Work Employment and Society (188); Work and Occupations (66); and Youth & Society (145). Feel free to lobby me for the inclusion of a different journal or the exclusion of a certain journal.

The abbreviations are courtesy of Web of Science. Unfortunately, they don’t provide article titles and often abbreviate books in different ways, so there is some measurement error in the data.

About Neal Caren

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