Cohesion in Demographic Research 1964-2011: How Disciplinarity Shapes Demography
Jimi Adams, University of Colorado, Denver
Social network analysis provides strategies to examine scientific fields that can evaluate segmentation or consolidation of research(ers) within the field. Those structural patterns can then be overlaid with characteristics to identify what shapes the observed community structure. Demography, which draws from many academic disciplines to cover several well-bounded substantive areas, proves a example to examine whether disciplinary boundaries or topical focus account for community structure in the field. I use the complete histories of four major general demography journals to examine the field’s evolving community structure, the primary drivers of that structure, and to identify what topics bridge between those identified communities. I find demography has a remarkably robust structural signature that is dominated more by topical organization than disciplinarity – a pattern unique to demography in comparison with several similarly many disciplinary fields.