Anglo-Canadian sociology is in a period of intense internal debate and generational transition, with signs of an institutional crisis on the horizon. This essay provides a reflexive sociological account of Anglo-Canadian sociology that stresses its potential for developing a unique, multi-method, theoretically diverse and critical sociological imagination. In the effort to stimulate further research and informed debate, historical and institutional explanations of English Canadian sociology's potential organizational crisis are outlined. Drawing on the sociology of education, historical-comparative sociology, organizational analysis, political sociology, the history of Anglo- Canadian sociology and the sociology of knowledge/intellectuals, three broad explanations are stressed. Sociology in English Canada runs the risk of becoming an "impossible science" because of the relatively flat nature of Canadian institutions of higher learning, the discipline's historical and contemporary colonial relationship with England and the starting point of the discipline in the social turmoil of the 1960s in a small social democratic oriented nation. Suggestions are made for an open and honest dialogue on the discipline's future among generations of Canadian sociologists.


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pp. 1-40
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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