A number of observers have commented that American sociology has recently experimenced a shift in its cognitive structure. In order to empirically investigate these observations, citations in the two most prominent sociological journals during 1955 and 1970 are examined. The data indicate that (a) various theory groups account for a relatively small percentage of authors cited during either period, (b) a number of the earlier theory groups are less prominent than they once were, and (c) there is evidence of the emergence of one new theory group.
InThe Revolt of the Masses, JoseOrtega y Gasset suggests that the work of average or mediocre researchers plays a role in the advancement of science. In order to examine the Ortega hypothesis in sociology, lifework citations to scholars referred to in 5 of the most highly cited contemporary sociological articles are examined. The findings do not support the hypothesis. That is, few average scholars received citations to their work in these influential articles. This finding is consistent with similar analyses for physics and criminology.