International Representation in US Social-Science Journals

Jerry A. Jacobs*, Nissim Mizrachi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we examine the publication of international articles in the two leading journals in sociology, the American Sociological Review and the American Journal of Sociology. The most prominent journals in several other social-science fields, namely economics, demography, political science and education, are included for purposes of comparison. “International” is defined alternatively with respect to topics and authors. The journal with the least representation of international topics is the American Educational Research Journal, followed by the two leading sociology journals. The journal Demography is also more international in focus than are ASR and AJS. Economics, as represented by the American Economic Review, and political science, as represented by the American Political Science Review, are the most international of this set of fields. The rank order of journals follows largely the same pattern when the focus shifts to international authorship rather than international subject matter. Foreign first authors are not uncommon, but many of these authors received their PhD degrees from a university based in the US or held a faculty position in the US. Co-authorship teams are most likely to be all US authors, but cross-national teams are not at all uncommon. Our findings suggest that a disproportionate focus on the U.S. may limit the sociological imagination and result in an impoverished sociological toolkit that is ill-suited for understanding the global reality of deeply diverse and divided societies. In addition, the opportunity structure available to sociologists around the globe is somewhat skewed. Foreign sociologists who rely upon publication in US journals for career advancement may find themselves at a disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-239
Number of pages25
JournalThe American Sociologist
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Academic stratification
  • Careers in sociology
  • Ethnocentrism in sociology
  • Generalizability of knowledge
  • International sociology
  • Sociology journals


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