Drawing Boundary Lines Between Journalism and Sociology, 1895-1999

Cite:  C.W. Anderson (2015). “Drawing Boundary Lines Between Journalism and Sociology, 1895-1999.” from Carlson, M., & Lewis, S.C. (Eds.) Boundaries of Journalism:  Professionalism, Practices, and Participation. New York: Routledge.

ABSTRACT: We have moved from a world where a leading sociologist could embrace notions of industrial truth production in the journalistic style to a world where a renegade journalist called on his profession to be more like sociology and political science, and thus much has obviously changed in the fields of both journalism and sociology over the past hundred years. One of these things has been the emergence of a boundary between journalism and social science, one that we take for granted today, but one whose contours were far, far less evident at the turn of the twentieth century. In this chapter I want to map the divisions and boundary markers that have driven the knowledge-building occupations of journalism and sociology apart for more than a century, but also trace the threads that still link, however tenuously, George Vincent and Nate Silver’s very different professional worlds.


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