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Instructions for Authors


Published in partnership with the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Social Forces is recognized as a global leader among social research journals. The journal emphasizes cutting-edge sociological inquiry and explores realms the discipline shares with psychology, anthropology, political science, history and economics.


Authors should observe high standards with respect to publication ethics as set out by the Commission on Publication Ethics. Falsification or fabrication of data, plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the authors’ own work without proper citation, and misappropriation of the work are all unacceptable practices. Any cases of ethical misconduct are treated very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the COPE guidelines.


All authors listed on the manuscript should have contributed significantly to the experimental design, its implementation, or analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors should have been involved in the writing of the manuscript at draft and any revision stages, and have read and approved the final version. Anyone who made major contributions to the writing of the manuscript should be listed as an author (“ghost writing” is prohibited by the journal). Any other individuals who made less substantive contributions to the experiment or the writing of the manuscript should be listed in the acknowledgement section. Any change in authorship (including author order) after the initial manuscript submission must be approved in writing by all authors.


By submitting your manuscript to the journal it is understood that this it is an original manuscript and is unpublished work and is not under consideration elsewhere. Plagiarism, including duplicate publication of the author’s own work, in whole or in part without proper citation is not tolerated by the journal. Manuscripts submitted to the journal may be checked for originality using anti-plagiarism software.


All submissions to the journal are initially reviewed by the editor and his associates. At this stage manuscripts may be rejected without peer review if it is felt that they are not of high enough priority or not relevant to the journal. This fast rejection process means that authors are given a quick decision and do not need to wait for the review process. Manuscripts that are not instantly rejected are sent out for peer review to at least two independent reviewers. Based on the feedback from these reviewers and the editor’s judgment a decision is given on the manuscript. Decisions on submitted manuscripts will be made in a timely manner.


Occasionally the journal will issue press releases for some of its articles. Authors submitting to the journal are expected to respect any press embargoes set for their manuscript.


For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving policy page.


The opinions expressed in Social Forces are those of the authors and contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the editors, the editorial board, Oxford University Press, or the organizations to which the authors are affiliated.


Manuscript Format

Articles submitted to Social Forces may not exceed 10,000 words (including text, endnotes, and references), and may not contain more than 10 tables and figure panels. (Social Forces no longer accepts Research Notes.) The abstract should not exceed 250 words and should summarize the article’s quest with or without conclusions, and without references. Your abstract should be copied into the appropriate text field in the online system, and it should also be placed on the first page of your main manuscript file. Manuscripts may not be submitted to another journal while under review by Social Forces.

Microsoft Word is the preferred format for submitted manuscripts. Please use standard fonts and margins. Include callouts to tables and figures at appropriate places in the text; tables, their titles, and their notes, as well as figure titles and their notes, should appear at the end of the article, after the references.

For questions regarding style, spelling, formatting, etc., please refer to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition.

Social Forces uses double-blind reviews; please remember to eliminate any identifying information and name your files by title, not author name. You are responsible for making sure that the uploaded manuscript consists of the complete text of the manuscript, including tables but with figures in separate files, MINUS any identifying information in the title page, acknowledgements, or any running heads to allow blinded review. Please note: If you have used the "track changes" feature at any point during the composition of your submission, make sure to accept all of the changes before saving the final version. If you do not do this, reviewers may be able to see your name and comments, compromising the double-blind review system. This could significantly delay the review process.

Language Editing
Language editing, if your first language is not English, to ensure that the academic content of your paper is fully understood by journal editors and reviewers is optional. Language editing does not guarantee that your manuscript will be accepted for publication. For further information on this service, please click here. Several specialist language editing companies offer similar services and you can also use any of these. Authors are liable for all costs associated with such services.


Nonstandard abbreviations should be defined at the first occurrence and introduced only where multiple use is made. Do not put standard abbreviations in parentheses following first reference, but use on second and subsequent references. Do not use any abbreviations in heads or in tables or figures.


Use only for substantive comments bearing on content. No footnotes.

Citations and References

Citations and references follow The Chicago Manual of Style’s author-date system.

Alphabetize by author. References must NOT be formatted with any sort of field codes. If you used EndNote or a similar program to organize your references, you must unlink the document by removing the field codes.

Use the following formats for citations and references:

  • When referencing yourself, use "Author DATE" in the text and do not place anything in the references.
  • When naming the author in the text, give the year of publication in parentheses: Lipset (1960) says . . .
  • When not naming the author in the text, give the author and year in parentheses: (Lipset 1960). Do not put a comma between the author’s name and the date.
  • Use page numbers only for direct quotations or specific notes or tables: (Braudel 1969, 213-14).
  • For more than three authors, use et al.
  • With more than one reference to an author in the same year, distinguish references by using letters (a, b, c) with the year of publication (e.g., 1975a).
  • For reprints, the earlier publication should follow a later publication in brackets within parentheses: (Tocqueville 1956[1835]).
  • For a series of references, in parentheses list alphabetically the references separated by semicolons: (Adler 1975; Adler and Simon 1979; Anderson, Chiricos, and Waldo 1977; Bernstein et al. 1977; Chesney-Ling 1973a, 1973b).
  • List authors alphabetically by surname. Spell out first names of all authors and editors.
  • For authors with more than one work cited, list works earliest to latest.

Examples of full references:

  • Wildeman, Christopher. 2010. "Paternal Incarceration and Children's Physically Aggressive Behaviors: Evidence from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study." Social Forces 89(1):285–309.
  • Elder, Jr., Glen H. 1975. "Age Differentiation and the Life Course." In Annual Review of Sociology, Volume 1, edited by Alex Inkeles, James Coleman, and Neil Smelser. Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews.
  • Myrdal, Gunnar. 1962[1944]. An American Dilemma. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Ritzer, George. 1975a. Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • ______.1975b. “Sociology: A Multiple Paradigm Science.” American Sociologist 10(3):156-67.
  • Kana‘iaupuni, Shawn Malia. 1995. Women and Migration. Ph.D. diss., Department of Sociology, University of Chicago.


All tables must be editable and should be placed at the end of the article on separate pages. Each table should be accompanied by a table title and table footnotes where necessary. The tables should be numbered consecutively using Arabic numerals. The format of tables should be in keeping with that normally used by the journal; in particular, vertical lines should not be drawn. Please be certain that the data given in tables are correct.


General guidance on the preparation of figures and illustrations for publication can be found by clicking here. As of volume 90, figures received in color will be published in color online. (The journal does not offer color printing.) Figure captions must be usable for both the print and online versions, and therefore cannot refer to colors.


Social Forces accepts only electronic submissions using the Scholar One Manuscript Central system, There is a non-refundable processing fee of $50 ($20 for manuscripts written solely by students), and this may be paid by Visa or MasterCard. Manuscripts are not reviewed until this fee is paid.

Go to If you have submitted a manuscript or reviewed an article for the journal, you may already have an account. Your User ID is most likely the email address you used when you last worked with Social Forces. Before attempting to create a new account, try entering your email address into the "Password Help" function on the main login page. If your email address is recognized, you'll receive an automated email with instructions.

When entering co-author information, please follow the instructions to check if an author already exists in our database. If the author is found, his/her information will be automatically filled out for you.
If you already have an account, log in and go to the "Author Center" to submit your manuscript. If you don’t have an account, click on the “Create Account” link in the upper right corner of the web page and follow the instructions.

After you are logged in, you must go to the Author Center to submit your manuscript. If you do not see the Author Center, click on the link to the Main Menu on the top left of the page and then proceed to the Author Center. You will see a link on the right side of the page which directs you to click to submit a new manuscript.

If you have questions during the process, first click on the red “Get Help Now” link on the upper right corner of the page you are on. You will be directed to a support website which includes a quick Author tutorial with more detailed information on submitting your manuscript and troubleshooting any problems.
At any point while logged into Scholar One, you may alter or update your user information by clicking on the "Edit Account" link in the upper right corner of the page.

During the submission process, you will be required to enter:

  • Manuscript Type
  • Title
  • Running Head
  • Abstract (limit 250 words)

Please submit a separate title page, and identify it as such by ticking the correct box. This ensures that identifying information will not be transmitted with the manuscript to reviewers. The page should contain the running head, title, author names and affiliations, and acknowledgments with the corresponding author’s complete mailing address and email address. The abstract should not exceed 250 words and should summarize the article’s quest with or without conclusions, and without references.

We encourage you to enter appropriate keywords, as this helps us match appropriate reviewers to your manuscript. Please only use the free text fields as necessary (i.e., no keywords in the existing list are appropriate for your manuscript).

You may log into your account at any time to review your manuscript’s progress. Our goal is 90 days from submission to first decision, and three months from final decision to online publication, slightly longer for the print journal.

The process works this way: You manuscript goes first into the Editorial Checklist queue. If the manuscript and graphics meet all requirements and you have paid your submission fees, it will be moved to the Select Reviewers queue in less than one business day. You will be notified of any problems, and your manuscript will remain in that queue until the problems have been corrected. Associate editors will then research a list of up to 12 potential reviewers for your manuscript. The Editor will vet and order this list, and determine how many reviews he will need to make a decision. Your manuscript will then go to the Assign Reviewer queue, where invitations will be sent out (more than are necessary). This is important: Your manuscript can be returned to this queue if too many reviewers decline and more invitations must be issued. If your manuscript passes into the Awaiting Reviewer Scores queue, then back into the Assign Reviewer queue, it does not mean we are starting over. It means that one or more reviewers accepted the invitation but changed their minds, or they are late and unresponsive, so we’ve decided to invite others. When all reviews are in, your manuscript passes permanently from the Awaiting Reviewer Queue into the Editor’s Decision Queue. The Editor’s goal is to make a decision on papers in this queue within 10 days.


Details of all funding sources for the manuscript should be included in the acknowledgments. Please give the full official funding agency name, no acronyms, complete grant numbers in parentheses and the recipient of the grant, if necessary.

For example: This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant numbers P50 CA098252 and CA118790 to the first author), and a grant from the Alcohol & Education Research Council (HFY GR667789) awarded to the second author.

Crossref Funding Data Registry
In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.


Permission to reproduce copyrighted material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and any fees paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS, and similar licensing agencies. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by contributing institutions. Please note that obtaining copyright permission could take some time. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see the Guidelines for Authors at

For a copyright prose work, it is recommended that permission is obtained for the use of extracts longer than 400 words; a series of extracts totaling more than 800 words, of which any one extract is more than 300 words; or an extract or series of extracts comprising one-quarter of the work or more. For poetry: an extract of more than 40 lines; series of extracts totaling more than 40 lines; an extract comprising one-quarter or more of a complete poem.

Third-Party Content in Open Access Papers
If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.


It is a condition of publication in Social Forces that authors that authors grant an exclusive license to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This ensures that all of the necessary rights needed for publication of the article are in place including provision for any requests from third parties to reproduce content from the journals are handled efficiently and consistently by OUP, enabling the content to be as widely disseminated as possible. No article will be published unless the license agreement has been received at Oxford University Press. Any queries about the license agreement should be sent as soon as possible to Rights and Permissions so that any issues can be resolved quickly and to avoid any delay in publication.

As part of the terms of the license agreement, authors may use their own material in other publications written or edited by themselves provided that the journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication and Oxford University Press as the publisher. As the author(s), copyright of the article remains yours (or your employer’s if your employer claims copyright in your work ). See here for full details of Oxford Journals' copyright policy and the rights retained by you/your institution under the terms of the license. Please note that for any content published as part of the Oxford Open program, there is an extended range of rights retained by you as the author. For details, please go to

On acceptance of your article for publication, the license agreement should be filled out online immediately. If we have not received the agreement by the time the manuscript arrives, publication may be delayed.

Work submitted for publication must be original, previously unpublished, and not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If previously published figures, tables or parts of text are to be included, the copyright-holder’s permission must have been obtained prior to submission. For information on how to obtain permissions, please consult Rights and Permissions.

Open Access

Social Forces authors have the option, at an additional charge, to make their paper freely available online immediately upon publication, under the Oxford Open initiative. After the manuscript is accepted, as part of the mandatory copyright form required of all corresponding authors, authors will be asked to indicate whether or not they wish to pay to have the paper made freely available immediately. If the Open Access option is not selected, the paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and the author will incur no charges in addition to any page charges and color charges that might apply.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licenses.

RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors can use the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) for their articles.

All other authors may use the following Creative Commons licenses:
•Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license (CC BY-NC)
•Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license (CC BY-NC-ND)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licenses.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The applicable open access charges vary according to which Creative Commons license you select. The open access charges are as follows.

Charges for CC BY:
•Regular charge: £1750/ $2800 / €2275
•Reduced Rate Developing country charge*: £875/ $1400 / €1138
•Free Developing country charge *: £0 /$0 / €0

Charges for CC BY-NC and CC BY-NC:
•Regular charge: £1750/ $2800 / €2275
•Reduced Rate Developing country charge*: £875/ $1400 / €1138
•Free Developing country charge*: £0 /$0 / €0

*Visit our developing countries page (click here for a list of qualifying countries).
Please note that these charges are in addition to any color charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.


Supporting material that is not essential for inclusion in the full text of the manuscript but would nevertheless benefit the reader, can be made available by the publisher as online-only content linked to the online manuscript. The material should not be essential to understanding the conclusions of the article, but should contain data that is additional, complementary and relevant. Such information might include more detailed methods, extended datasets/data analysis or additional figures.

All material to be considered as supplementary data must be submitted at the same time as the main manuscript for peer review. It cannot be altered or replaced after the article has been accepted for publication. Please indicate clearly all material intended as supplementary data upon submission and name the files: “Supplementary Figure 1,” “Supplementary Data,” etc. Also ensure that the supplementary data is referred to in the main manuscript where necessary, for example as “(see supplementary data)” or “(see Supplementary Figure 1).” Please note that supplementary material will not be copyedited, so ensure that it is clearly and succinctly presented and that the wording and style conforms to the rest of the paper.

A maximum of five files is acceptable to make up the supplementary material unit for an article. The maximum size per file should not exceed 2 MB, and files must be as small as possible, so that they can be downloaded quickly. An HTML index page is usually created to link the supplementary material to the article. Please provide short (2-4 word) titles for each individual file; these will be used to create links to the files from the index page.

The following formats are acceptable for supplementary material only:

  • Plain text (.txt)
  • HTML (.html, htm)
  • Jpeg (.jpg, .jpeg)
  • GIF (.gif)
  • QuickTime video (.mov)
  • MPEG Movie (.mpg)
  • Microsoft AVI Video (.avi)
  • Adobe PDF (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet (.xls)

If your preferred format for supplementary material is not on this list, you may still be able to upload it as single files or in a zip file. Please contact the Social Forces editorial office for assistance.


Authors of articles are sent page proofs by email. These should be checked immediately and corrections, as well as answers to any queries, returned to the publishers as an annotated PDF via email or fax within two working days (further details are supplied with the proof). It is the author's responsibility to check proofs thoroughly.


Authors will receive electronic access to their article free of charge. Printed offprints may be purchased in multiples of 100. Rates are indicated on the order form which must be returned with the proofs.


Advance Access articles are published online soon after they have been accepted for publication, in advance of their appearance in a printed journal. Appearance in Advance Access (in either of the models below) constitutes official publication, and the Advance Access version can be cited by a unique DOI (digital object identifier). When an article appears in an issue, it is removed from the Advance Access page.

Articles posted for Advance Access have been copyedited and typeset and any corrections included. This is before they are paginated for inclusion in a specific issue of the journal. After an article appears in an issue, both versions of the article continue to be accessible and citable.


Social Forces authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory license to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licenses. RCUK/Wellcome Trust funded authors publishing in Social Forces can use the Creative Common Attribution license (CC-BY) for their articles.

All other authors can chose from the following Creative Commons licenses:

• Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial license (CC-BY-NC)
• Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licenses.

Charges Information

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The applicable open access charges are:

Regular charge - £1750/ $2800 / €2275
List B Developing country charge* - £875 / $1400 / €1135
List A Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.


The Book Review section of Social Forces aims to provide fresh, useful information on books of significant interest to sociologists and other social scientists. Some principles that inform this goal include:

  • Books are selected for review based on their inherent interest to Social Forces' audience. Books are never rejected for review due to lack of space.
  • Periodic review essays, review symposia, and the like are scheduled to offer space for consideration of books that, for one reason or another, deserve special treatment.
  • The core list of books to be reviewed includes books by sociologists, published by prominent university and academic presses, containing new research or theory. Such books are virtually always sent out for review, although occasionally we cannot recruit a suitable reviewer.
  • The peripheral list of books consists of books to be reviewed if the editor considers them of interest to the readership. These include books by social scientists, non-sociologists with links to sociological questions, and books in the public discourse of special interest to sociologists.
  • These are guidelines. If you think a book deserves review in Social Forces, we're always happy to take a look.

Frequently Asked Questions about Book Reviews

How can I become a reviewer for Social Forces?

We're always looking for qualified reviewers. Send a curriculum vitae and a short letter or statement of interest to Social Forces via e-mail to the Book Editor. We do not consider unsolicited reviews.

How can I arrange to have my book reviewed in Social Forces?

The necessary condition is that we receive the book itself. We do not commit to reviewing any book without first having it in the office. Still, we discard a majority of all books we receive. To submit a book for review, send it to:

Yong Cai
Social Forces Book Reviews
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
CB#3210, Hamilton Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210 USA

How do you choose reviewers for books?

We look for qualified experts in a related field to offer insight into the book's strengths and weaknesses. We often seek reviewers whose work is tangential to the book's theme, in order to generate reviews that are of interest to the widest possible social scientific audience. Books by sociologists may sometimes be reviewed by non-sociologists; books by non-sociologists should generally be reviewed by sociologists.

Have you received my book for review?

If you send a book without confirmed receipt or tracking information, email the Book Editor.

I submitted my solicited review a while ago. When will it be published?

Reviews are published online in the order in which they complete the production process. This takes approximately 6 to 8 weeks from arrival of the review in production.

What are you looking for in a review?

The typical book review is approximately 800 words and offers a serious evaluation of the book's strengths and weaknesses. We prefer pithy, original reviews that raise interesting questions, offer serious praise and critiques, and demonstrate the book's utility (or lack thereof) for other social scientists.

Will reviewing a book for Social Forces increase or decrease my chances of having my research published in the journal? How about of being asked to review manuscripts?

No. The book review and manuscript sections of the journal are completely separate.


The Editorial Office can be contacted by email: Angela Morgan, Assistant to the Editors

Impact Factor: 1.736

5-Yr impact factor: 2.588


Arne L. Kalleberg

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