The Ladies Vanish?

Publication Date: 
August 2018
American Sociology and the Genealogy of its Missing Women on Wikipedia


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Many notable female sociologists have vanished from the canonical history of American sociology. As the most influential crowd-sourced encyclopedia, Wikipedia promises – but does not necessarily deliver – a democratic corrective to the generation of knowledge, including academic knowledge. This article explores multiple mechanisms by which women either enter or disappear from the disciplinary record by analyzing the unfolding interaction between the canonical disciplinary history of sociology and Wikipedia. We argue that the uneven representation of women sociologists as (1) remembered, (2) neglected, (3) erased or, finally, (4) recovered is shaped by the emerging interactional space of knowledge production.