The Epistemological Diversity of Canadian Socology

Joseph Michalski


The current paper presents the results of a national survey of 190 full-time members of Canadian sociology departments to examine the state of the discipline in 2014-15. The paper focuses on the extent of epistemological diversity in an effort to answer two key questions. First, what intellectual perspectives prevail among Canadian sociologists and, along these lines, does any particular perspective hold greater prominence? Second, what might explain the variation in the epistemological stances most commonly endorsed? The evidence reveals a preponderance of critical and feminist scholars, which can be explained in large measure by considering the social locations of sociological practitioners. The results of a logistic regression model confirm that gender, generation, geography, and disciplinary genre are significant predictors of critical and critical-feminist orientations. A discussion of qualitative responses fleshes out the dominant themes that Canadian scholars expressed in their survey responses.


Epistemology; Canadian Sociology; Survey; Paradigms; Critical-Feminist Core

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