Cook, Judith A.; Fonow, Mary Margaret
November 1984
Humanity & Society;Nov84, Vol. 8 Issue 4, p442
Academic Journal
The article addresses the issue of academic gate-keeping or hierarchy and how it influences the nature of feminist scholarship. Authors have chosen to explore interlinkages between academic gatekeeping and the structure of social relations within the discipline of Sociology. It has been done in order to understand how properties of gender asymmetry are incorporated into the analytical and practical procedures of social sciences. The article examines the process of gate-keeping as it occurs in four broad contexts for sociologists working in a university setting. These contexts are, selection of research topics and monitoring of ideas and innovations, obtaining funding through the proposal submission process, publishing and nature of the peer review and hiring, promotion and tenure processes. The analysis reveals that it is important to recognize that there are no hard-and-fast rules in gate-keeping, at least for feminist sociologists. Gatekeepers do play by a set of rules, but one of these rules is that all rules are suspendable, if this serves the purposes of the gatekeeper. Such a situation highlights the nature of gate-keeping as an often arbitrary and unpredictable process.


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