Established in 1895 as the first U.S. scholarly journal in its field, the American Journal of Sociology remains a leading voice for analysis and research in the social sciences. The Sociology Department collectively publishes the journal, which presents pathbreaking work from all areas of sociology, with an emphasis on theory building and innovative methods. AJS strives to speak to the general sociological reader and is open to sociologically informed contributions from anthropologists, statisticians, economists, educators, historians, and political scientists. AJS prizes research that offers new ways of understanding the social; for example, a recent issue was organized around the topic of genetic influences on social interaction.
AJS offers a substantial book review section that identifies the most salient work of both emerging and enduring scholars of social science. Commissioned review essays appear two or three times a year, offering the journal's readers a comparative, in-depth examination of prominent titles. The Journal's book review section is run by a student committee chaired by a faculty member.
Although AJS publishes a very small percentage of the papers submitted to it, a double-blind review process is available to all qualified submissions, making the journal a center for exchange and debate "behind" the printed page and contributing to the robustness of social science research in general.
The Roger V. Gould Prize is given annually to the article published in AJS that best exemplifies the qualities that made Roger Gould's own work so remarkable.