Science is an institution with immense inequality in career attainments. Women and most minorities, as groups, have lower levels of participation, position, productivity, and recognition than do white men. Research in the sociology of science has focused on the degree to which different outcomes have resulted from universalistic and from particularistic processes. In this paper we 1) depict the career attainments of women and minorities in science, 2) consider the meaning and measurement of universalism compared to particularism, 3) analyze the causes of differential attainment with a view to assessing evidence for violations of universalism, 4) propose conditions under which particularism is likely to occur, and 5) consider methodological problems that affect this research.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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