The ladies vanish? American sociology and the genealogy of its missing women on wikipedia

Wei Luo, Julia Adams, Hannah Brueckner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-556
Number of pages38
JournalComparative Sociology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018



  • Big data
  • Canon
  • Disciplinary memory
  • Encyclopedia
  • Gender
  • Knowledge
  • Sociology
  • Wikipedia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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