Academic journal article Canadian Review of Sociology

Replacing the Canadianization Generation: An Examination of Faculty Composition from 1977 through 2017

Academic journal article Canadian Review of Sociology

Replacing the Canadianization Generation: An Examination of Faculty Composition from 1977 through 2017

Article excerpt

IN A RECENT UNIVERSITY Affairs piece, Maren Wood asked, "What is the value of a Canadian PhD to universities in Canada?" (Wood 2017). Amid increasing numbers of doctoral enrollments (from 29,874 in 2003 to 46,782 in 2011; Looker 2015), a rising "underclass" (Rajagopal 2002) of sessional instructors (Field et al. 2014), and Ph.D. aspirations fixed on the tenure track (Desjardins 2012), it is a pressing question in need of answers. Responses to the job market "crisis" have often singled out the current (or coming) mass retirement of Canadian faculty as the solution that will open countless new positions for our best and brightest Canadian candidates. Many others, however, are skeptical. As research-intensive schools in Canada engage further in the global quest for scientific "excellence" (Gingras 2010; Stack 2016) and interest from international "post-docs and junior faculty right through to mid-career, to truly established stars who want to move here" (Blackwell 2017) continues to increase, the degree to which professorial positions will be filled by domestic appointments remains to be seen. While this wave of interest from foreign talent, aligned with the Federal government science policy, might be due to political instability in the United Kingdom and the United States, the current situation recalls many of the anxieties shared by Canadian academics during a pivotal moment in the postwar history of the country's academic field: the Canadianization Movement.

Employing original longitudinal data spanning from 1977 through 2017, we aim to document the movements of external domination vis-a-vis nationalizing forces within the Canadian social sciences. Specifically, we look at the national Ph.D. origin of 4,934 social scientists from five disciplines--anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology--working at 15 research-intensive Canadian universities (U15) during this period. We pursue two research objectives. The first is historical in scope and focuses on the period from 1977 to 1997. We investigate the composition patterns of incoming and outgoing faculty at four substantively distinct classes of university. We focus on the doctoral Canadianization and de-Americanization over time, considering why domestic credentials did not take root as valued symbolic capital at McGill, University of Toronto (U of T), and the University of British Columbia (UBC). We propose two influential field-wide forces that can help us understand the faculty reproduction practices of these three schools: the influence of networks and faculty majority, and principles of scholastic merit and prestige. The second objective focuses on the contemporary period from 1997 through 2017. Here, we examine the differences between incoming and outgoing faculty for each class with marked attention to two field-wide forces that resonate during this period: the cycle of faculty renewal (retirement and hiring), and the departure of the Canadianization generation amid an emerging global academic market. This exploratory examination of overall, incoming, and outgoing faculty composition trends over the past 40 years can facilitate a richer understanding of the value of the Canadian Ph.D. and allow us to consider larger unchecked questions about the academy's de-Canadianization over time.

POSTWAR ACADEMIC AMERICANIZATION AND THE CANADIANIZATION MOVEMENT

Marked by the crossing of more than 50,000 Vietnam war draft dodgers (Hagan 2001) and a burgeoning Canadian postsecondary education system forced to hire from outside the country (Axelrod 1982; Cormier 2004), the 1960s and 1970s ushered in the single largest movement of U.S. academics in Canadian history (Brown 1967). In response to the perceived overtaking of Canadian academe by foreign academics, the Canadianization Movement emerged as a call for the creation and integration of Canadian content in universities' and colleges' teaching materials (Symons 1975), and action against the alleged exclusion of Canadian graduates from tenure track jobs at Canadian universities (Cormier 2004). …

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