Measuring differentials of information power between academic disciplines using interdisciplinary citation patterns among eight social sciences from 1979–1983 and 2005–2009
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Although social stratification usually calls to mind the hierarchical ranking of individuals, sociology often broadly considers it the ranking of any social objects. The Treiman Socio-Economic Index (SEI), for example, provides a quantitative assessment of the hierarchical ranking of occupations. This dissertation considers the hierarchical ranking of eight social science disciplines (anthropology, communication, economics, geography, library and information science, political science, psychology, and sociology). The hierarchical ranking of disciplines was operationalized as the degree of asymmetry in cross-discipline citation patterns. Asymmetries in the information flow in the citation data were regarded as indicators of gravitational gradients (making movement in some directions "easier" than others) and the idea that "higher" disciplines exerted greater influence over "lower" disciplines than vice versa was explored. Lower ranking disciplines were expected to cite higher ranking disciplines more than higher ranking disciplines cited lower ranking disciplines. Interdisciplinary citations in journal citation data from 1979-1983 and 2005-2009 showed considerable asymmetries, and ranking of the status of the eight disciplines investigated were derived from those asymmetries.