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Making Sociology Matter

Background — Education


My post secondary education is largely from the University of Victoria where I completed my Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Anthropology (1985 and 1988 respectively) and my Ph.D. in Sociology (1997).

My Ph.D. dissertation investigated one of the defining debates of sociology: the nature of the relationship between the individual and society. One sociologist, Seymour Martin Lipset, investigated this relationship through his analysis of Canadian and American value differences. Lipset argues that Canadian and American values are different and have remained parallel to each other over time. My dissertation tested Lipset's thesis of cross-national value differences through seven hypotheses derived from Canadian and American media portrayals of Native issues. Testing these hypotheses was accomplished through quantitative and qualitative measures to determine if Canadian and American media content support or refute Lipset's thesis. Documenting each country's values was achieved by a content analysis of articles from a leading newsmagazine from each country, Maclean's and Newsweek, and comparing their presentations of Native issues.