Reviews of Peer-Reviewed Journals in the Humanities and Social Sciences

We give you the scuttlebutt on academic journals—aiding you in selecting the right journal for publication—in reviews that are sometimes snarky, sometimes lengthy, always helpful. Written by Princeton University graduate students and Wendy Laura Belcher.

American Journal of Sociology

For those interested in publishing articles that use novel empirical data or analysis to advance explanatory, frequently causal arguments addressed at macro-level disciplinary questions in conversation with major subfields.

Flagship journal in the field of sociology mostly publishing research that makes both empirical and methodological or theoretical contributions to core areas of interest to the discipline.  Research questions tend to be framed relatively abstractly and with explicit reference to consensus and debate in the field’s existing literature, and represent breadth of scope methodologically, theoretically, and/or empirically.  Papers often test new hypotheses derived from major theoretical contentions, re-test a theory about which there is broad consensus using new methods or new data, refine the conditions under which an effect is observed, or develop theoretical frameworks to account for previously under-theorized phenomena.  Explanatory and causal arguments predominate over the last five years, with most papers examining how or why a social phenomenon occurs, though some articles are more descriptive.  Coauthorship, methodological innovation, and quantitative approaches are common, and the ethnographic, archival, and interview-based research that appears tends to take an explanatory approach.  Research questions are often framed with reference to field-foundational figures such as Weber, Durkheim, and Goffman, or to debates in multiple major subfields of the discipline over the last several decades.  AJS also occasionally publishes responses to articles in previous issues of the journal.  Editorial board is affiliated with the University of Chicago and includes senior scholars and doctoral students.

 Useful for Submission

Word Count: “Many referees balk at reading papers larger than 10,000 words.”

Issues per year: 6

Current volume number: 124

Articles per year: 35-40

Citation style: author/date

Abstract length (if required): 100 words

Upcoming special issues (if available): none, past null hypothesis call for papers

Relevant Editors: Elisabeth S. Clemens, Editor; Kimberly Kay Hoang, Alessandra Lembo, John Levi Martin, Yaniv Ron-El, Xi Song, and Jenny Trinitapoli, associate editors.  All are affiliated with the Uniersity of Chicago, which publishes the journal; two are doctoral students.

Open access?: No

Online?: Yes

About Wendy Belcher

Associate Professor, Princeton University, Department of Comparative Literature and the Center for African American Studies. Author of Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Instructor of Deep Reading Journals as Publishing Praxis.


This entry was posted on February 14, 2019 in Social Science Journals, Sociology Journals.