Quality vs. quantity.

Author:Smith, Christian
Position:Letter to the editor

Why do I subscribe to a journal whose editor in chief is happy to send me, a sociologist, into extinction? ("As many have observed, sociologists are an endangered species. We're going to miss them. Or maybe not." [While We're At It, April]). Neuhaus himself is perfectly happy to play the sociologist when, for example, he argues the importance of mediating structures in society. And he clearly adores his three pet sociologists, Peter Berger, David Martin, and James D. Hunter. But why does he feel the need to turn disagreements with particular things that other specific sociologists say into a categorical dismissal of an entire discipline? Seems pretty simplistic.

In any case, whatever Neuhaus or "many" others think, for the record, sociology is hardly "an endangered species." The American Sociological Association has more than eleven thousand members and is growing. The number of B.A. and M.A. sociology degrees conferred between 1984...

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