Since 1984, when Cole and Zuckerman referred to gender differences in productivity among academic scientists as a puzzle, sociologists have sought to explain these differences by incorporating primarily institutional-level factors. In addition to these factors, the author contends that an undertheorized and heretofore unmeasured concept - the extent of research specialization - can also help explain the process by which gender affects research productivity. Although some researchers have examined areas of specialization, the extent of research specialization has been completely neglected in studies of academic careers. Using a probability sample of academics in two disciplines (sociology and linguistics), primary data collection, and simultaneous equation modeling, the author finds that the extent of research specialization is a critical intervening variable: Women specialize less than men and thereby lose out on an important means of increasing their productivity.
- Academic science
- Research productivity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science