Pop sociology is the killer fork of the discipline. Sociologists of this variety tend to publish more (articles, books, whatever) and do less field work. Their work is usually based on the work of less famous researchers. This (naturally) causes a lot of friction in the academic world and leads to a lot of fingerpointing when sociology books start selling in large quantities.

Some distinguishing features of (alleged) pop sociology:

All of this said, many sociologists branded with this dubious distinction did little to deserve it. Publishing outside of academic journals will often provoke a firestorm of criticism from the writer's peers.