GOAL 4 TO GET PUBLISHED
The goal of getting published was complicated by a dilemma. Feminist sociologists had to decide whether to aim their publications at existing sociological journals and get books published by existing publishing houses; to establish new journals or book series or even new publishing houses specifically for feminist sociology; or to establish and publish in the new interdisciplinary field of women’s studies/feminist stud – ies/gender studies. Later on, with the rise of gay and lesbian studies, lesbian feminist sociologists had a fourth possible ‘space’. A similar dilemma arose about which conferences to present at, and so on. There are advantages and disadvantages to each location.
Feminist social scientists since 1968 have certainly chosen to create their own spaces by establishing journals. In the USA, Jessie Bernard argued, sociological feminism or feminist sociology had achieved ‘recognition of the scientific legitimacy’ (1987: 24). She charted the rise of periodicals (50 of them) in which women’s studies and feminist sociology could be published, quoting their mission statements. The journals featured included No More Fun and Games (1969); Feminist Studies (1972), Women’s Studies (1972); Quest (1974); Women’s Agenda (1976); Psychology of Women Quarterly (1976); Chrysalis (1977), and Signs (1976). In 2001, one publisher, Sage, offers seven journals founded by feminist social scientists: The European Journal of Women’s Studies, Feminism and Psychology, Feminist Theory, Gender and Society, Gender Technology and Development, Sexualities, and Violence against Women.
Feminist sociologists also made efforts to publish in the existing journals, and to monitor how far they were successfully encroaching into them. Ward and Grant (1985) analysed all the issues of ten leading American sociology journals from 1974 to 1983. They examined all the issues of ‘ten major sociology journals’ (ibid.: 144) published from 1974 to 1983 in the USA. These were the American Journal of Sociology (AJS), the American Sociological Review (ASR), the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour (JHSB), the Pacific Sociological Review (PSR), Social Forces (SF), Social Problems (SP), Social Psychology Quarterly (SPQ), Sociological Quarterly (SQ), Sociology of Education (SOE), and Work and Occupations (WO). These ten journals included all those published by the American Sociological Association except their review journal, and the leading journals not produced by the ASA. Ward and Grant focused on the full-length articles (3,674 of them) and ignored all the other content, such as book reviews and editorials.
Ward and Grant focused on two things: whether articles were about gender, and, if they were empirical, whether the data came from male, female or mixed samples or populations. They found that 19 per cent
(705) of the published papers were about gender. The percentage had risen from 14 per cent in 1974 to 23 per cent in 1982. There were more gender articles in JHSB than any other journal, but WO, SPQ, SP and SOE also carried over 20 per cent of gender articles. Ward and Grant comment that this is in line with their expectations, because more women work in the specialisms of health, education, work and social psychology. The two highest status, generic journals ASR and AJS carried less than 20 per cent of articles on gender. Ward and Grant (1985: 151) concluded that ‘Women appear to have gained sociological visibility over the decade.’
Women comprised only 8 per cent of the single authors in 1974, but at least 17 per cent every year from 1975 to 1983. They were 16 per cent of ‘first’ authors in 1974, and at least 18 per cent every year after that till 1983. They conclude that ‘there was a dramatic increase in women’s participation as solo and first authors between 1974 and 1975’ (ibid.: 151) but it then stabilised. Lutz (1990) conducted a parallel analysis of women’s visibility in American socio-cultural anthropology from 1977 to 1986 studying American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Ethnos and Human Organisation. Lutz (ibid.: 612-13) reports that women authored 30 per cent of the 1,004 articles published in the four top American anthropology journals, and were 29 per cent of the authors of the 650 books published in anthropology in 1986.