Professional, Critical, Policy, and Public Academics in Canada

Robert Joseph Brym, M. Reza Nakhaie


This paper analyzes the results of a unique 2000 study of a representative sample of Canadian academics (n=3,318) in order to provide the first empirical assessment of Burawoy’s intellectual types: professional, critical, policy, and public intellectuals. After determining the distribution of academic types in the Canadian professoriate as a whole, the paper demonstrates that academic types fall along a left-right continuum, different fields of study contain different distributions of academic types, and public, policy, and critical academics tend to have different socio-demographic and economic characteristics than professional academics. The picture that emerges from the analysis is of a professoriate whose contours substantiate the broad outlines of Burawoy’s typology.

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