Repository logo

The division of sociological labour: an application and analysis of Burawoy's professional, policy, critical and public sociology in the Canadian context



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Degree Level



From the beginning, social theory has been motivated by the desire to advance human freedom and bring about social change (Seidman, 2008). From classical theorists such as Marx, who writes of class division and the exploitative nature of capitalism in order to bring about change, to more contemporary sociologists such as C. Wright Mills, who helps to redefine personal problems in terms of public issues, many of sociology's foundational texts clearly demonstrate a propensity for advancing human freedom and inducing social change. Thus, it is interesting to examine what sociologists are doing because their work has historically had, and will continue to have, the potential to make real and significant change in the world. And, it is imperative to have knowledge of the current state of affairs in the discipline in order to facilitate discussion around how to promote sociological work that seeks to bring about social change. It is in this context that this research project seeks to answer the following: what is the distribution of sociology professors in Canada using Burawoy's (2009) disciplinary mosaic framework? In addressing this question, two sub-questions are asked: to what extent do Canadian sociologists agree or disagree with Burawoy's normative vision of the discipline? And, to what degree do the socio-demographic shown to be relevant by Brym and Nakhaie (2009) continue to emerge in the Canadian context. Using data collected from an online questionnaire delivered to all full-time sociologists in universities and colleges in Canada, this project reveals that Canadian sociology is dominated by Professional sociology with Public, Policy and Critical sociology featuring much less prominently. This is despite the fact that in aggregate Canadian sociologists tend to agree that all types of sociology ought to be conducted. Finally, several socio-demographic variables-such as gender, income and type of post secondary institution-continue to be relevant in the Canadian context.



public sociology, Canadian sociology, the disciplinary mosaic, the division of sociological labour



Master of Arts (M.A.)






Part Of