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PLoS One. 2018 Jul 2;13(7):e0199510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199510. eCollection 2018.

The research topic landscape in the literature of social class and inequality.

Author information

Institute of Computational Social Science, Shandong University, Weihai, China.
Engineering Department, Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Institut Supérieur de Management et Communication, Paris, France.
Kantar TNS, Paris, France.
Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, United States.


The literature of social class and inequality is not only diverse and rich in sight, but also complex and fragmented in structure. This article seeks to map the topic landscape of the field and identify salient development trajectories over time. We apply the Latent Dirichlet Allocation topic modeling technique to extract 25 distinct topics from 14,038 SSCI articles published between 1956 to 2017. We classified three topics as "hot", eight as "stable" and 14 as "cold", based on each topic's idiosyncratic temporal trajectory. We also listed the three most cited references and the three most popular journal outlets per topic. Our research suggests that future effort may be devoted to Topics "urban inequalities, corporate social responsibility and public policy in connected capitalism", "education and social inequality", "community health intervention and social inequality in multicultural contexts" and "income inequality, labor market reform and industrial relations".

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

AGD is an employee of and receives salary from Kantar TNS, a marketing research firm. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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