Social Science, Cultural Rationalization & the Historical Rise of Schooling

As a computational historical sociologist interested in culture, I use a combo of quantitative and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to analyze big archival data.

Semantic Network of the UK Political Discourse (1851–1885) Showing the Political Problematique of State Schooling

I seek to better understand the rise of state schooling across the West against a context of changing cultural theories of the state, society, and individual. I explore this topic across several projects designed to analyze the official political discourse (~1.1 million parliamentary speeches) and legislative acts in the UK during the long 19th century using computational and quantitative methods.

Related Works

Smith, D.S. (2021a, in press). “Making the education of the people the business of the Government”: Social scientization and the rise of the schooling state in UK parliamentary discourse, 1803–1909. Social Science History.

Under Review

Smith, D.S. (2021b, under review). The Making of Mr. Gradgrind: Social Science and the Rationalization of Schooling in Official UK Political Discourse, 1803–1914.

In Preparation

(Manuscript Available)

Smith, D.S. (2021c, in prep.). “We shall have a people industrious, honest, tolerant and happy”: Social Science and the Expansive Purposiveness of State Schooling in UK Political Discourse during the Long Nineteenth Century.


(Preliminary Findings Workshop-able)

Smith, D.S. Class Acts: Social Science and UK Legislative Action in Education during the Long Nineteenth Century

Culture, Diversity & Power in Science & Education

In collaborative work, I explore the ways culture is entangled in and shapes science and education, particularly in gendered contexts.

An unstable cultural order mediated by gender as practice

I also seek to understand the ways science can be biased and what we can do about it. I explore the cultural conditions and outcomes of women's incorporation and empowerment in science and education institutions.

Related Works

Kim, L., Smith, D.S., Hofstra, B. McFarland, D. (2021, in press) Gendered Knowledge in Fields and Academic Careers. Research Policy.

Bromley, P. & Smith, D.S. (2020). Creating the Canon: The Meaning and Effects of Textbooks and Curricula” in Thurston Domina, Benjamin Gibbs, Lisa Nunn, and Andrew Penner, eds., Education and Society. University of California Press.

Smith, D.S., Wendt, H., & Kasper, D. (2017). Social reproduction and sex in German primary schools. Compare: Journal of Comparative and International Education 47(2): 240-256.

Under Review

Liang, W., Mahowald, K., Raymond, J., Krishna, V., Smith, D.S., McFarland, D., Zou, J. (2021). How random is the review outcome? A systematic study of the impact of external factors on eLife peer review.

In Preparation

(Manuscript Available)

Bromley, P. & Smith, D.S. (2021, in prep.) Women, World Society, and the Expansion of Academic Knowledge: The Study of Gender in Comparative Education Review, 1957–2016.