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Apostles of CertaintyData Journalism and the Politics of Doubt$
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C.W. Anderson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190492335

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190492335.001.0001

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Journalism Interprets, Sociology Scientizes

Journalism Interprets, Sociology Scientizes

Boundary Work Between Empirical Occupations in the 1920s and Beyond

(p.50) 3 Journalism Interprets, Sociology Scientizes
Apostles of Certainty

C.W. Anderson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the paradox that, even as journalism became more professional and concerned with social structure, it became increasingly distant from social science after the 1920s. The boundary work carried out by both journalism and sociology to distinguish themselves from each other is described through a variety of content analyses of leading professional journals. The chapter points to some of the reasons why journalism and sociology grew apart, including the fact that data in journalism was primarily displayed visually and lacked causal claims. A discourse analysis of journals and newspapers shows that sociologists increasingly viewed journalism and fundamentally unscientific.

Keywords:   boundary work, content analysis, Fortune magazine, public opinion surveys, sociology, visualization

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