Freakonomics.com readers vote to eliminate sociology

Responding to the question “Which social science should die?”, the readers of Freakonomics.com voted out sociology:

As you can see from the chart below, nearly 50 percent believed that college/university presidents should eliminate sociology. Nearly 30 percent thought poli sci should be shuttered. [Editor’s note: it is perhaps not surprising that Freakonomics readers wouldn’t vote to eliminate economics.]

The rationales varied. Many felt that sociology had become too insular and out of touch. Some argued that political science had become a sub-field of economics, and a good old-fashioned “M&A” could occur. Others said “market” discipline should be enforced: that is, save the departments that bring in the most cash to the university.  And many of you argued that the tradition of the disciplines was being ignored — e.g., sociology used to promote reform, but is no longer organized around such pragmatic tasks—and so it makes sense to close them for good.

One possible explanation: economists and sociologists don’t always get along.

I would be interested to see a larger poll of academics about this. Could this be related at all to the size of relative departments?

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