"The American Soldier"'s Place in Sociological Conversations: Mapping Its Contributions in Conversations Sixty-Five Years after Its Publication

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Joshua McAuliffe


An analysis of The American Soldier (TAS) using multiple correspondence analysis and citation count analysis reveals that TAS contributed to two “uniquely distinct” conversations (methods and theory) and two “polar distinct” conversations (surveys studying group phenomena and experimental studies nested in the theory conversation). The “uniquely distinct” con­versations took place in the 1950s in the American Journal of Sociol­ogy and Social Psychology Quarterly. Nested in these uniquely distinct conversations are two “polar distinct” conversations, indicating that the methods conversation had a discernible quantitative design element, while the theory conversation included a separate discussion of experimental designs. The one non-nested “polar distinct” conversation took place in the Journal of Political and Military Sociology and in Social Forces during the mid- 1970s and resurfaced again in the 2000s. Supplementary analysis finds con­tinuing, though qualified, evidence of both the palimpsestic syndrome and the obliteration phenomenon with respect to the concept of relative deprivation.

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