William A. Gamson

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William Anthony Gamson (born January 27, 1934) is a professor of Sociology at Boston College, where he is also the co-director of the Media Research and Action Project (MRAP).[1] He is the author of numerous books and articles on political discourse, the mass-media and social movements from as early as the 1960s. His works include The Strategy of Social Protest,[2] WHAT'S NEWS (1984),[3] and Talking Politics (2002),[4] as well as numerous editions of SimSoc.[5]

Gamson, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1959, was the 85th president of the American Sociological Association in 1994.[6] He is also a 1978 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.[7] In 1962, he won the AAAS Prize for Behavioral Science Research.[8]

Gamson's Law[edit]

Gamson's Law of Proportionality or simply Gamson's Law was suggested by Eric C. Browne and Mark N. Franklin in 1971.[9] They stated that there is proportionality between the numerical representation of each political force in a government and their number of seats in the parliament.[10] It was based on the idea that each actor in government expects a payoff proportional to the weight that it contributes to the coalition, that had been proposed in the paper A theory of coalition formation, published in 1961 by William Gamson.[11]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • Gamson, William A.; Modigliani, Andre (January 1987). "The changing culture of affirmative action". Research in Political Sociology. 3: 137–177. 
  • Gamson, William A.; Modigliani, Andre (1994), "The changing culture of affirmative action", in Burstein, Paul, Equal employment opportunity: labor market discrimination and public policy, New York: Aldine de Gruyter, pp. 373–394, ISBN 9780202304755.  Preview.


  1. ^ "William Gamson's Homepage". Boston College. Archived from the original on 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  2. ^ The Strategy of Social Protest ISBN 0-534-12078-4
  3. ^ WHAT'S NEWS (1984) ISBN 0-02-911110-2
  4. ^ Talking Politics (2002) ISBN 0-521-43679-6
  5. ^ SimSoc 5th edition (2000) ISBN 0-684-87140-8
  6. ^ "Presidents: William A. Gamson". American Sociological Association. Retrieved 2012-12-13.
  7. ^ "1978 Foundation Program Areas". John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  8. ^ History & Archives: AAAS Prize for Behavioral Science Research
  9. ^ JSTOR 1958776
  10. ^ "Party Size and Portfolio Payoffs. A Study of the Mechanism Underlying Gamson's Law of Proportionality" (PDF). 
  11. ^ JSTOR 2090664

External links[edit]