Ethnic and Gender Distribution of Sociologists and Anthropologists, 1971-96: Canada [*]

By Nakhaie, M. R. | Canadian Journal of Sociology, Spring 2001 | Go to article overview

Ethnic and Gender Distribution of Sociologists and Anthropologists, 1971-96: Canada [*]


Nakhaie, M. R., Canadian Journal of Sociology


Abstract: This paper evaluates the distribution of males and females of British, French and "other" ethnic origins among sociology and anthropology professors from 1971 to 1996. The results suggest that there has been a steady increase in the proportion of females compared to males, however, most of the increase has been experienced by women of British and French origins. The British and French females increased their representation both in terms of first time employment into the rank of assistant professor and with respect to promotion to higher ranks. In contrast, females of "other" ethnic origins were less likely to move into the university setting, but, once there, they were more likely to move up into higher ranks. In general, the study suggests that we should not view the category of "woman" as monolithic: British women are more privileged than French and "non-charter" women and men in the academy.

Resume: Cet article evalue la distribution des hommes et des femmes d'origine ethnique britannique francaise et celles qui appartiennent a "d'autres ethnies" parmi les professeurs de sociologie et d'anthropologic de 1971 a 1996. Les resultats suggerent qu'ily a eu une augmentation constante dans la proportion des femmes comparees aux hommes mais la plus grande augmentation a eu lieu parmi les femmes d'origine britannique et francaise. Les femmes britanniques et francaises ont augmente leur participation a la fois en termes d'un premier emploi an rang de professeur adjoint et dans le cas de promotions aux rangs superieurs. Par contre, il est moins probable que des femmes d'origine ethnique "autre" trouvent des postes universitaires mais, une fois qu'elles les obtiennent, il est plus probable qu'elles passent a un rang superieur plus rapidement. En general, notre etude indique que nous ne devrions pas interpreter la categorie de "femme" comme etant monolithique: en ce qui concerne les carrieres universitaires l es femmes britanniques sont plus privilegiees que les femmes francaises et que les femmes et les hommes designes comme des "non-membres de la Charte."

There is a large body of research on the development of sociology and anthropology in Canada. Some of this research deals only with sociology and anthropology in English-Canada and/or French-Canada. Other research compares the two charter groups. None of this research focuses on the non-charter ethnic groups and/or on their representation in sociology and anthropology. In fact, the most recent attempt to chart and reflect on the history of the discipline totally ignores non-charter ethnic groups. The Fragile Truth: Twenty-five Years of Sociology and Anthropology in Canada (Carroll et al., 1992), might as well have been called Twenty-Five Years of Sociology and Anthropology in English Canada. With the exception of Guy Rocher's article, there was little mention of the non-Anglo groups. Fragile Truth completely ignored the struggle of the third ethnic force in Canada and/or in the discipline. Furthermore, despite the fact that 45 percent of the book is allocated to women's issues (Adair, 1993:15), there is no me ntion of ethnic minority women in sociology and anthropology. The impression one gets from this book is that "other" ethnic groups were/are not a (major) force in this country or were/are non-existent in sociology and anthropology. For example, Margrit Eichler, using first names, showed that, by 1991, 23 percent of all Presidents, 42.3 percent of those who had held the position of secretary/treasurer and 22.4 percent of various editorial positions had been held by females. In addition, 21.1 percent of authors in the CRSA and 19.1 percent in other publications were females (pp. 74-78). Her general message is that the Association has been good to women. Her study does not show whether or not ethno-racial minority women (or men) were equally represented in the Association.

More broadly, Irvine evaluates representation of female full-time teachers in Canadian universities for 1990-1991 and compares it with an estimated pool of applicants with PhDs. …

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