Welcome to Reuben Roth's Sociology of Work and Education Website
Centre for the Study of Work and Labour Markets
Greetings, I'm an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Labour Studies at Laurentian University.
This website is where I allow public access to some of my past and current writing and research on the sociology of work and the workplace, social class and stratification, economic and social inequality, the Canadian working-class in its many forms (social, political, cultural, etc.), progressive labour economics, political sociology and the continuing effects of industrialization and postindustrial capitalism on people's everyday lives. It's also where I send my students for a variety of resources.
I've been teaching Sociology and Labour Studies at the undergraduate and graduate level since 2001 and have been a Senior Researcher at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (1995-2003) and York University (2002-2004). At York's Centre for Research on Work and Society (CRWS) and OISE/UT's Centre for the Study of Education and Work (CSEW) I administered several large SSHRC grants related to informal learning, non-formal education, the workplace, shifting labour markets in the current 'new economy' and educational outcomes and their relation to the labour market.
I've also had an extensive background in a variety of non-academic workplaces; I've held many jobs from orderly to audiologist's assistant, from giftwrapper to audio salesperson, from shipper-receiver to construction labourer, from auto and aircraft assembler to newspaper photographer, from political speechwriter to cable repairman's helper.
In short, I've had a varied, diverse and busy resume that reflects some of the changing labour market conditions faced by those baby boomers who came of age during the early-to-mid-1970s. I recognize that it's a fairly unusual resume for an academic, but I believe that my broad working experience has furnished me with a useful background, given my research and interest in the sociology of work.
My most formative workplace experience took place between 1984 and 1992, as an auto assembler at General Motors of Canada's Oshawa (Ontario) car assembly plant. At GM I ground unpainted automobile bodies with an hydraulic sander, I 'sanded' welded roof pillars, and I adjusted and fastened automobile fenders into place.
In January 1992 I left General Motors and entered Trent University where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree (Sociology) (1994). Next, I took up graduate school at OISE/UT and received an M.A. (1997). I completed my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) in 2005.
My interests are firmly situated in the sociological sub-disciplines of social class structure, class analysis, the sociology of work, the North American labour movement, and education as it relates to work. At OISE/UT's 'Sociology and Equity Studies in Education' department, I found that I had great freedom to pursue the field in its broadest forms.
My doctoral research focussed on my former workmates, the automobile assembly line workers at General Motors of Canada in Oshawa, Ontario. This is the largest auto assembly plant in Canada, and among the largest in the world. In my dissertation, entitled "Oshawa Autoworkers: Social Integration and Oppositional Class Consciousness Among the Unionized Workers of General Motors" I examine three things: (1) images of Canadian class society among autoworkers; (2) notions of working-class self-identity among Oshawa autoworkers; and (3) Oppositional working-class consciousness among autoworkers. In sum, I conclude that the experience of the assembly line and role of radical union education programmes has a lot to do with findings of "oppositional proletarian consciousness" among my sample group.
The term for a change in political class consciousness, notably one that shifts from a 'proletarian-revolutionary' makeup to a 'bourgeois-middle class' variety, is embourgeoisement, which is defined by Abercrombie et al. (1988) as "an explanation of declining working-class support for radical political movements, as the result of increased affluence causing workers to adopt middle-class (bourgeois) values and life-styles." The collapse of British Labour Party votes during the 1950s propelled Goldthorpe et al. in their quest to answer the question of whether postwar affluence had spurred the embourgeoisement of the British working masses. The same question is often asked of Oshawa's General Motors autoworkers, which is the reason I pursue this topic so doggedly. Almost two decades after the initial study Goldthorpe wrote:
There has always been a political underplot involved in this idea [that the working class has been obliterated as both a social and political force]. ... The claim that the working class is in decline has been used to justify the[ir] strategy of a 'broad democratic alliance' against Thatcherism stretching as far rightwards as the SDP-Liberal Alliance. [This]... definition of class which focuses on consumption is therefore likely to lead to a belief in the dissapearance of class antagonisms and the merging of working and middle classes. Those who argued, after labour had suffered three successive electoral defeats in the 1950s, that the working class was undergoing 'embourgeoisement' --becoming middle class-- appealed to the evidence of manual workers' greater affluence and changed lifestyles (Goldthorpe, 1987: 3).
Here's a Canadian illustration of embourgeoisement. Michael Breaugh, the successor to former New Democratic Party (NDP) Leader Ed Broadbent's seat in the House of Commons, was Oshawa's provincial MPP, and federal MP during the 1980s and early 90s. Below Breaugh speaks candidly about Oshawa autoworkers' lack of support for the social democratic NDP. This is from the CBC radio program "The House" (CBC Radio One broadcast, July 24, 1999):
If they are an hourly-rated worker..they're going to be making good money by anybody's standards, sixty five to seventy five thousand, in that range. If they are a skilled tradesman (sic), then they will be much in demand and they will probably be into six figures. These are people who have at least two cars brand new probably got a boat, probably got a camper, probably got a cottage. These people are concerned about how they accumulate wealth, how they hold onto it; taxation is a big problem..
On the surface this sounds like a concrete illustration of the concept, doesn't it? Embourgeoisement is often cited (whether in name or otherwise) as the chief cause for the failure of political parties or workers' movements.
In my dissertation I selectively tested portions of Michael Mann's (1973) thesis among General Motors autoworkers, but I primarily engage in an examination of these workers' proletarian class consciousness. Basically I'm asking the questions "have industrial workers in Ontario adopted the tenets of capital accumulation?", "where has the (archetypical) alientated working-class (as outlined by Blauner, 1964) gone?" and latterly, "has a labour aristocracy formed among the ranks of General Motors/CAW autoworkers?"
I use my own industrial work experiences, and especially my auto assembly experiences, to ground much of what I write. I most often use social analysis within an historical-materialist framework and conduct my analysis using 'reflexive' thinking, which is the process of reflecting on the experiences we relate critically (reflecting on reflections); the application of theory to our own lives, or the use of personal experience to 'produce' sociological knowledge. In many of my papers I am quite critical of the hyper-rationalized Taylorist production-line used in auto plants, and I'm an advocate for broadening the recognition of the indigenous learning that working-class --and other dispossessed people-- do.
Lastly, I employ the sociological paradigm of social conflict theory, which has an undeservedly negative reputation. Rather than judge this perspective as needlessly negative, the conflict paradigm (and critical sociology) allows us to analyze social phenomena constructively. I plan to write more about this and post it here sometime in the future.
Too often "informal learning" is collapsed into the meaningless, but hopeful phrase "lifelong learning". This is a dubious tag that can mean all things to all people. Of course it rarely takes into account indigenous forms of learning as legitimate and recognized (via credits) forms of learning. Unfortunately, the recognition of 'informal learning' is not only unheralded in our society, but it's actively discouraged; as a result of this practice -- and the economic power relations which are still intimately based on the relations of production -- working-class people are typically downtrodden, dispossessed and disenfranchised, a condition that doesn't promise to cease very soon.
I'm also a critic of the way our public schools treat people who fall outside of traditionally powerful (read: white, middle-class) social groups. I'm a strong supporter of our public education system, but acknowledge that it needs a drastic overhaul in terms of equity. I suggest works like Paul Willis' Learning to Labour or Tom Dunk's It's a Working Man's Town, for those who want some background reading on this matter, or see my M.A. thesis, Kitchen Economic for the Family: Paid Education Leave and the Canadian Auto Workers union.
My research interests include the following: working-class ethnography, class schemas and working-class consciousness, social inequality in terms of social class, race and gender; labour process theory; the working-class in its historical, cultural and political forms; public social policy; educational democracy and informal learning, the national question as it relates to Quebec and Palestine; labour education (current forms and future possibilities); workplace health and safety; Canadian social relations; trade unionism in Canada and its relationship to social democracy and the promotion and development of sociology as an academic discipline (a somewhat traditional carrying-on of the original 'sociological project' initiated by St. Simon and Compte).
I enjoy reading essays that critically examine class and labour issues in Canada and the U.S. and the ongoing developments in the labour and social democratic movements of the industrial West. I'm a member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), the American Sociological Association (ASA), the Association of Humanist Sociologists, and the Canadian Sociology Assocation (CSA).
Several years ago, a colleague and I undertook an initiative (since put on hold) to establish a teaching and research centre in Oshawa. We proposed a Centre for the Study of Work and Labour Markets. With thousands of auto parts, assembly and skilled trades workers in this community, we need to create a body of work that documents Oshawa's workforce in social, cultural and political terms. Unlike Hamilton's steelworkers, Oshawa's autoworkers have actually seen few studies of their culture, working-practices, history, etc. I'd like to see a centre unite 'worker-experts' with university faculty and students in a team-teaching model that informs students from autoworkers' own, unique vantage point.
I estimate that of the thousands of autoworkers in the Oshawa area, we must easily have hundreds or perhaps thousands, of activist unionists who can not only read, but interpret, analyze and debate the finer points of the complex legal language contained in their collective agreement (which encompasses about seven thick booklets) -- not to mention labour legislation, Employment Insurance regulations, Workers' Compensation, occupational health and safety legislation, and so on. This is common knowledge to those in any similar community and a testament to the kind of learning that's quite common in many workplaces around the globe. In my experience as an assembler, the shopfloor discussions around relevant issues were often well-informed, heated and stimulating. Here you have a wonderful group of 'worker-experts' with intimate knowledge of their workplace, their union and community; here you also have a wonderful opportunity to share and learn, despite the myth that manual workers are incapable of intellectual work. The myth of a 'knowledge-based economy' is a major contributor to the belief that manual workers have fallen behind and don't have the literacy skills to 'compete' in a global economy. All indications that are informed by actual scientific practice indicate the opposite. GED scores and their equivalents have risen over the generations (see D.W. Livingstone's book "The Education-Jobs Gap: Underemployment or Economic Democracy?" 2004: Garamond Press). Just think about how much more we now have to know than our great-grandparents or even our parents did. Contrary to the myth that we're dumbed-down, we're getting smarter. But this doesn't fit the popular picture of an population unready to meet the challenges of a 'highly-competitive new economy -- an unfounded rhetoric that's designed to keep workers always off-balance and always insecure.
A 'Centre for the Study of Work and Labour Markets' would conduct the necessary comparative research to show that working-class intellectual capacities have great potential and integrity. Frankly, I don't see why the new "University of Ontario Institute of Technology" (UOIT) in Oshawa can't take up this timely, relevant and increasingly-important project. Especially in an era that advocates notions of a "knowlege economy". You can email me for more details on this initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are some papers I've written over the years. This list has grown considerably since I started this webpage in 1997 and is a resource for sociology, social sciences, labour (labor) studies, business, and human resources students, among others. I'll describe a few papers here, but feel free to explore them all. One is an essay I wrote on the Canadian Auto Workers' (CAW) form of 'social unionism' -- a challengenging alternative to the 'business union' model. Another is an early paper and addresses the 'ultra Taylorist' Japanese Kaizen HR process also known as 'Lean Production', 'Lean Manufacturing' or 'Japanese Production Management' (JPM). There's also an essay in which I use Dorothy Smith's critical investigative technique of 'textual analysis' to examine a specific General Motors - CAW document. This document was a signed agreement between a district committeeperson and local management which addressed modified work rules on the GM Oshawa assembly line. I've also included a short essay on the relationship between the unionized working-class autoworkers of Oshawa and the social-democratic New Democratic Party (NDP). One essay that is a personal favorite is a sociological explanation for the shootings at high-schools in Columbine, Colorado and Tabor, Alberta. I wrote it to my children (young at the time) when they asked me why schoolchildren in Canada and the U.S. were shooting at one another and then committing suicide. This is an example of how sociology is relevant to everyday events and can have great explanatory power. I've also included several initial drafts of my Ph.D. dissertation on social class imagery, class identity and oppositional class consciousness among Canadian Auto Workers Local 222 members, who work at General Motors. Lastly, there's a related bibliography which needs updating but is a great resource for students and researchers.
For my doctoral thesis, I distributed over 100 (N=102) survey questionnaires aimed at General Motors/CAW Local 222 workers between mid-2000 and early 2001. During the course of this work I developed an interview questionnaire that I've used to explore the question of working-class consciousness with a small group of autoworkers who responded to the original survey. My research has already yielded much fresh data on present-day worker attitudes and their relation to class identification and oppositional class consciousness and I hope to publish it in book form sometime in the not-too-distant future. Currently I hope to extend my research to Sudbury mine and smelter workers and non-unionized Toyota workers at Cambridge, Ontario.
Your comments on my posted papers (below) are always welcome. I'm also eager to hear from others conducting research in similar areas.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you're a student quoting these essays I ask that you give me proper academic citation. Besides, many of my papers include my own personal experiences of assembly-work, based on my seven years on the General Motors assembly-line, so there seems little point in trying to pass these off as your own. All are protected by copyright.
Feel free to drop by every now and then to see what other new papers I've added.
Chapter One of my doctoral dissertation 'Oshawa Autoworkers: Social Integration and Oppositional Class Consciousness Among the Unionized Workers of General Motors'
Lean Manufacturing in the Auto Industry: Kaizening Ourselves to Death On Lean Manufacturing at General Motors, Oshawa (Ontario, Canada)
"Notice to Departments 91 and 92 Employees": An Institutional Ethnography
Here is my August 24, 1994 individual presentation to the Ontario Government's Standing Committee on Resources Development on Bill 165, the Workers' Compensation and Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act.
Lecture to York U. Labour Studies Course 'Workplace Alienation and Union Activism at General Motors, Oshawa'
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Hidden Knowledge: Organized Labour in the Information Age. This link takes you to an excerpt from the book's introduction. I co-authored a chapter (with D.W. Livingstone) on the learning experiences and learning capacities of Oshawa autoworkers. This is based on research I conducted for David Livingstone's "Working-Class Learning Strategies" project from 1994-2001.
Workplace Communities and Transformative Learning: Oshawa Autoworkers and the CAW
Workers' Knowledge: An Untapped Resource in the Labour Movement. By D.W. Livingstone and Reuben Roth. A paper presented to the International Conference on Union Growth, Toronto, April 30-May 1, 2001
The Canadian Auto Workers and Paid Education Leave: Social Unionism in Practice
'Kitchen Economics for the Family': Paid Education Leave and the Canadian Auto Workers Union. This is my complete (reformatted) master's thesis on the history and structure of the PEL program of the Canadian Auto Workers union. Take heed that this is a large (500+kb) WordPerfect 9.0 file. Students, please don't plagarize and do cite me properly when you quote.
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Guest lecture at York University on Social Class in the New Millennium, November 28, 2003
Oshawa Autoworkers: Social Integration or Classic Alienation? Oppositional Class Consciousness Among the Unionized Workers of General Motors" AN UPDATE!
The Wealthy Autoworker: Representations of Working-Class Consciousness Among the Unionized Workers of General Motors Canada
The Autoworkers of General Motors, Oshawa: Integration or Alienation?
Bibliography on embourgeoisement and "General Motors Autoworkers" essayA handy resource for Labour (Labor) Studies students
Oshawa Autoworkers: Social Integration and Oppositional Class Consciousness Among the Unionized Workers of General Motors -- MOCK ORAL THESIS OUTLINE -- MARCH 2002 -- NOTE THIS IS AN MS-WORD 97 DOCUMENT -- CLICK LINK TO DOWNLOAD AND OPEN OR SAVE
The Hidden Injuries of Class Revisited: Notes to a Sociology 215 lecture, Feb. 12, 2001 On socialization and social class in North America today
Literature on Social Mobility Posting to 'working-class studies' newsgroup - NB: This is an MS-Word document -- click to save or open.
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Public Perspectives on Schooling: An Overview and Analysis of Public Opinion Polling on Education (2002)- Prepared for the Atkinson Foundation Report "The Schools We Need" (2003) Ken Leithwood, Michael Fullan and Nancy Watson, co-authors
OF INTEREST TO INTRODUCTORY SOCIOLOGY STUDENTS
Syllabus for my introductory sociology course (2011-12) 'Understanding Society' SOCI-1015 EL-01. Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m. beginning September 13, 2011.
Don't Panic: A Tourist's Guide to Sociology. A short note to introductory sociology students
Being Testwise - Lecture on Quiz and Exam-taking, September 2011
Laurentian University SOCI-1015 'Understanding Society' Final Essay Assignment Note that this assignment is due on February 28, 2012.
General Essay Guidelines for Prof. R. Roth. Note that although most of these suggestions are aimed at SOCI-1015 students, they also serve as my general suggestions for most student essays in all courses. Note this is an MS-Word file.
Writing a Term Paper
OF INTEREST TO UPPER-YEAR SOCIOLOGY STUDENTS
Winter 2012 SOCI-4076 Syllabus. Note this opens directly to a pdf file, which you should save.
Lecture on how to do the first assignment for SOCI-4086 (Winter 2011), a critical article review. Note this is a pdf version of a Powerpoint file.
Course outline for Trent University SOCI-POST 382-H "Protest, Contention, and Social Movements." Spring 2007. Please note that this file opens directly to an MS-Word file.
Course outline for Trent University SOCI-ADMN333-H 'Social Organizations' Fall 2004. Note this is an MS-Word file.
Tutorial Presenter's List of Questions. Use these questions as a guide to usher new students through the presentation of a course reading. MS-Word File.
Why Did Teens in Columbine and Tabor (Alberta) Kill Other Teens and Commit Suicide? (an essay for my children)
Race, Gender and Class: The Identity Politics of Postmodernity or the Socialist Project?
soci-poli-2127 SPSS file for final assignment
soci-poli-2127 Questionnaire to be paired with SPSS file for final assignment
I.T.-related matters of interest to Laurentian University students, staff and faculty:
I have no idea why Laurentian University's I.T. department doesn't make it easy to set up your Groupwise account. They should have a downloadable version available, but to the best of my knowledge they don't. We're required to walk to the IT Department help desk and borrow a CD-Rom. They don't even post the address for Laurentian Groupwise access. So here is a big tip: when setting up Novell Groupwise at Laurentian University this should be your online address: 22.214.171.124 and your Port setting should be 1677. This information means that you can access the latest version of Groupwise and do the setup yourself. I hope that someone who is searching for this information finds it here (which is why I'm using repeated keywords so often in this paragraph).
I'm an Android user now, and have gone through an afternoon of fruitless searches in attepting to install an email client on my tablet, thanks to the Laurentian IT department's archaic approach to IT. So for those who are frustrated after a fruitless search of the Laurentian IT site, here is the link to Laurentian's Andriod mobile device protocol (i.e. Android settings for Laurentian Groupwise email accounts, for those finding this via a Google search): http://126.96.36.199/IT/android.php
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I was born a Montrealer (nee Reuben Rott for any old classmates who are Googling me) and was later transplanted to Toronto where I resided for ten years. I've lived in Oshawa, Ontario (45 kilometres east of Toronto) since 1988 with my wife (nee Maureen Connolly for those Googling her) and our two adult children, Joel and Eileen.
For those of you who are not familiar with the industrial city of Oshawa, it's the centre of the automobile industry in Canada. Here in 'Canada's Detroit' (these days it's more like "Canada's Flint"), you'll find a concentrated group of approximately 4,000 (what was once over 25,500) hourly, unionized employees in auto parts and assembly. This is quite an 'achievement,' especially after the devestation of the industry through automation, rationalization, the dissolution of the 1965 Auto Pact, and hemispheric free trade, which all led to massive downsizing in the auto industry.
Oshawa is also the site of General Motors of Canada's Head offices and the GMC "Autoplex" -- one of the largest auto assembly complexes in the world (at one time it was second only to the massive Lada assembly plant in the old Soviet Union). The Canadian auto industry employs one of every seven working Canadians and one of every six Ontarians. Just as auto and steel dominate the U.S. economy, this area is indisputably the heart of Canada's economy, thanks to the concentration of a supposedly 'dead' industry. The stretch of highway between Detroit and the 'Greater Toronto Area' is one of the busiest in North America, thanks to the auto industry.
Ironically, this ex-autoworker lives in a house which was built by Colonel Sam McLaughlin, the founder of what is now General Motors of Canada (originally McLaughlin Carriage Works) in 1927 as a wedding gift to his middle daughter, Hilda. Hilda Pangman and her husband moved to Montreal during WWII and the house was sold to Col. Sam's personal secretary and accountant, J.J. English.
This wonderful Edwardian-style home has been lovingly restored to its original glory and is just down the street from the magnificent 55-room McLaughlin Mansion Parkwood. A federally recognized historic site, the Parkwood estate is one of Canada's last interwar mansions and it resonates with local history. It may interest you to know that Parkwood is one of Canada's most popular Hollywood film locations. Parkwood is one of Oshawa's 'hidden gems' and should ever find yourself in the vicinity of Oshawa you should certainly make it a point to visit this magnificent house.
In Oshawa I'm engaged in a variety of local community pursuits. I am a past Trustee of the Oshawa Public Library and I'm a supporter of the Oshawa-Durham Philharmonic.
I can be reached via email at: email@example.com
I enjoy feedback (as you do, I'm sure).
I have an interest in traditional and historical music forms, especially early American music, such as that archived by Alan Lomax. As problematic as some claim he may be, he did record some historic and irreplacable music. Without these recordings, we'd be just a bit more impoverished than we are. /
John Coltrane: Jazz is a love of mine and John Coltrane's music is a muse. Here's 'My Favorite Things' (a Fan's homepage with discography and thesis): My Favorite Things: John Coltrane Website
Lyrics to "Early in the Mornin'" (composed by "22" and recorded by Alan Lomax) xxx
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The Centre for Research on Work and Society (CRWS) The Centre for Research on Work and Society Located at York University, this research and dissemination centre unites university academics with trade unionists and conducts advanced research of interest to union members, academics, activists, educators, community workers, anti-globalization activists, social progressives and anyone interested in workplace-related issues. Be sure to search their extensive holdings of free online working papers.
The Centre for Working-Class Studies was the first center of its kind in the United States devoted to the study of working-class life and culture. The CWCS creates social spaces for civic and academic conversations on working-class life and culture and its intersections with race, gender, and sexuality and serves as a clearinghouse for information on working-class culture, issues, and pedagogy. More than an intellectual project, the CWCS is also engaged with the broader society, providing assistance in creating a culture of organizing and education within working-class institutions and society. The Centre for Working-Class Studies at Youngstown State University
The Canadian Labour Congress is Canada's national umbrella labour (trade union) body. Their website is of interest to those interested in learning about Canadian labour unions, or nonunion workers curious about unions, or those wishing to conduct research on how to join a union.
One of the best English-language newspapers in the world is the British Guardian. Given ongoing events in the mid-east it's worth reading an often-intelligent analysis with only somewhat less bias than North American news outlets. The Guardian
The Independent Media Center is a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity. Indymedia
Here's a link to a great sociology website -- it's one of my very favorites. Sociosite is a wonderful reference for sociology students and others interested in the social sciences. Great sociologists, popular themes, and other resources are featured in this very dense site. Sociosite
Here is a link which is useful for students of political science or sociological theory. The Marx to Mao Page is a resource for those with a phrase (or less) they'd like to look up and read in full. Marx to Mao Page
This is a link to The C. Wright Mills Homepage, which contains excerpts from a wide range of Mills' written works. This man saved North American sociology in the late 1950s with his compelling writing and engaging work. Those academics who criticize newly-founded universities for being "too practical" (see UOIT below) should recall that C. Wright Mills had a similar plan to snatch sociology away from the elite in the late 1950s. In the end Mills struck a blow for grounded academic work, the linking of sociology with real life experiences, and was an advocate who railed against elitist dogma. C. Wright Mills Homepage
I take anti-racism seriously and make use of an active anti-racist pedagogy in the classroom, using a wide range of resources. Here is an old standby: author Peggy McIntosh's article on "White Privilege". It's a great tool that helps make racism and privilege visible to those who may not see it. It's an effective piece of thinking and writing and is a great kickoff to a classroom discussion on race at almost any level.
">White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
Deborah Tannen's 1990 Washington Post article: "Sex, Lies and Conversation: Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to Talk to Each Other?" I use this in my introductory sociology course.
WALL - The Work and Lifelong Learning research network WALL research network endeavours to identify gaps in workplace training and education in Canada and bring visibility to current learning and work issues and trends.
Here's a link to 'The Durkheim Pages' website. It contains detailed English-language summaries of each of Emile Durkheim's four major works, including: The Division of Labor in Society (1893), The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), Suicide (1897), and The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (1912). The Durkheim Pages
The Indiana University in South Bend has an excellent online roster of courses, and an excellent list of U.S. labour links Indiana University Labour Studies Program
The University of the Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) is one of Ontario's newest universities. It's been a long time coming, as Oshawa is Canada's largest community without its own university. UOIT will offer programs in Advanced Manufacturing, Applied Arts, Science and Technology Education, Applied Health Science, Applied Science, Business I.T., Policing and Community Safety and Nuclear Technology and Safety. UOIT's programs are both unique in Canada and solidly grounded. In an almost unprecedented move within Ontario postsecondary education, UOIT will allow students to transfer between community college and university programs. See my earlier remarks on the institutional blindness to informal learning and you'll see why recognizing prior learning is important. Some universities don't even give full credit to students coming from other universities in their own jurisdictions! The Ontario Institute of Technology
The Nicholson Family History This website documents the life and times of the Nicholson family, a somewhat typical middle-class family in Richmond Quebec, between 1908 and 1913. It's a great (and engrossing) way to get a snapshot of Canada at the time, thanks to lots of rich archival material that provides a good deal of contextual information. As the family patriarch Norman Nicholson fell on hard times, his daughter Marion was 'forced' to become a teacher in rural Quebec. Marion ended up an activist in her teacher's union. Here we see a fascinating and detailed (300 letters are archived) look at the profession of teaching, early feminism and household changes (many due to technology) in a 'better off than average' family during turn-of-the-20th century Canada. Note this is a noncommercial, nonacademic website created by an experienced journalist and researcher. The author, Dorothy Nixon, has also added a note to students attempting to determine whether her website is 'authoritative enough' (see the link "About this Web Site"). The insights in that note alone are worth the trip.
MUSLIMEDIA.com is an independent website run by Crescent International, and features some of the best commentary on events in the Middle East by Zafar Bangash, among others. Muslim Media
The Nation has been a voice of the U.S. left since 1865. This is a progressive weekly newsmagazine that cannot be ignored. The Nation
Counterpunch is modestly self-described as "America's best political newsletter," and that may indeed be true. Edited by "The Nation" expatriate Alexander Cockburn, Counterpunch is unabashedly liberal (in the American sense of the word), anti-Republican, and progressive to its core.Counterpunch
The Socialist Register, in existence since 1964 is "Compulsory reading for people who refuse to be resigned to the idea that there can be no alternative to our unacceptable society", according to Daniel Singer. Some free articles available from past issues. This is necessary annual reading.
Rabble A recommended progressive Canadian political news and analysis website.
Salon.com Smart U.S. political and cultural writing.
Common Dreams A progessive news and views source
MichaelMoore.com and Liberal Oasis.com are only two among the many "l"iberal U.S. websites that promote an alternative viewpoint, albeit within established political parameters. After trolling his site, follow some of Moore's interesting links.