This week, The Annex discusses a cleavage in German sociology that resulted in the formation of the Academy of Sociology, an organization that splintered from the German Sociological Association in a spat that involved questions of scientific rigor in sociology. Here’s the back story:
To be a social science discipline sociology needs to adopt standards for transparency and reproducibility. All science is moving this way. Some parts of the discipline can't or won't. This may solidify qual/quant as science/notscience & I'm not sure the discipline can survive it— Philip N Cohen (@familyunequal) August 13, 2019
Stephen Vaisey of Duke University commented:
I don't think this maps onto qual/quant neatly, but I think sociology could survive a split. Fields have done it (e.g., anthro). And others have few institutionalized subfields (e.g., PS). No reason to force us all to live in the same "house" *if* we are pursuing different goals. https://t.co/dSquII7WGH— Stephen Vaisey (@vaiseys) August 14, 2019
This tweet generated multiple, very interesting reactions, including this one from Fabian Ochsenfeld.
In Germany, we now have two sociological associations, @DGSoziologie and @akadsoz. Orientation to theory and replication standards were explicitly mentioned as reasons to split (qual/quant not, but there's a correlation). @socannex— Fabian Ochsenfeld (@FOchsenfeld) August 21, 2019
This struck me as a tremendously interesting topic. It also turned out to be painfully difficult to find discussants. I struggled to find people to tell the story of the division between these two organizations. I’m grateful to Thomas Scheffer from Goethe University, who was gracious enough to tell us about this divide.
Please note: We were not able to secure someone to speak on behalf of the Academy of Sociology for this segment. I invite listeners to voice their views below, and I am happy to discuss follow-up discussions if warranted.