Who writes about Archaeology? An intersectional study of authorship in archaeological journals

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Who writes about Archaeology? An intersectional study of authorship in archaeological journals

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American Antiquity


Heath-Stout, Laura

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Cambridge University Press




Since the 1980s, activist archaeologists have used quantitative studies of journal authorship to show that the demographics of archaeological knowledge production are homogeneous. This literature, however, focuses almost exclusively on the gender of archaeologists, without deeply engaging with other forms of identity or adequately addressing the methodological limitations of assigning binary gender identifications based on first names. This paper rectifies these limitations through an intersectional study of inequities in academic archaeological publications by presenting the results of a survey of authors who published in 21 archaeology journals over a 10-year period (2007–2016). This survey asked them to provide their self-identifications in terms of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The results demonstrate that although there has been an influx of women archaeologists in recent decades, we have not yet reached gender parity. They also show that because many women archaeologists are cisgender, white, and heterosexual, the discipline's knowledge producers remain relatively homogeneous. Furthermore, although there is demographic variation between journals, there is a strong correlation between journal prestige and the percentage of authors who are straight, white, cisgender men. This intersectional study of journal authorship demographics provides a comprehensive perspective on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the discipline of archaeology.`


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