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Posts Tagged ‘Philip N. Cohen’

At the end of my last post, I noted that the difficulties I faced writing an entry for an academic encyclopedia are likely to be shared by sociologists attempting to reach a broader audience. The lack of peer review* in this type of work also means that there is a greater possibility for distortion**, as Philip N. Cohen highlights when critiquing W. Bradford Wilcox’s recent article about fatherhood at Slate. The greatest danger with these types of articles that are aimed at a broader audience is probably not deliberate distortion but the type of subtle distortion that occurs when we try to remove the context and subtlety from the research we discuss.

*Incidentally, I’ve been told that the experience of writing for Contexts is similar, though the fact that Contexts articles are peer-reviewed hopefully reduces the likelihood of distortion.

**Of course, the recent controversy surrounding Mark Regnerus’s work demonstrates that the possibility for distortion exists within peer-reviewed work as well.

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