What's in this site:
I am a teacher. It is because of the exceptional education I received that I became a teacher; for outside of my family, no one has influenced me as much as my teachers, many of them remarkable and generous people.
In my youth, I studied music devotedly, receiving an Associateship degree (A.R.C.T.) from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto in 1961. My musical training included three summers on scholarship at Michigans National Music Camp (Interlochen) where I studied piano and composition. Putting musical studies aside to study science, then sociology, at the University of Toronto, I graduated with an Honours B.A. in 1965. After graduation, went to Harvard, intending to work with master theorist Talcott Parsons. Instead, I ended up working with witty and congenial George Homans. There, I received my Masters and Doctorate degrees in Social Relations in 1967 and 1970 respectively. My thesis supervisor was George Homans, my committee members Seymour Martin Lipset and Lloyd Ohlin. Other influences at Harvard were Harrison White and, of course, Talcott Parsons.
In 1978, I was promoted to full professor and, except for a year as Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Yale (1983), I have remained at U of T. Between 1997-2003, I served as Chair of the Department of Sociology. So, in short, I am a Canadian, Torontonian, and U of T sociologist from the roots up.
By preference, I am a book writer and editor, not an article writer. In the course of my career, I have authored or co-authored books on topics that include social mobility, crime and deviance, gender, family, and social problems. I have edited or co-edited another dozen or so books, while publishing only a few dozen articles in refereed journals.
However, I have also consulted with many clients, producing reports for the federal government, the Government of Ontario, non-profit organizations and private enterprise. I believe strongly in the power of social science research to improve the world and to bring scholars together around pressing issues. Accordingly, I have given talks around the world - in Canada, the U.K., the U.S., France, Hungary, Mexico, Singapore, China, Taiwan, and Japan, among others. A strong internationalist, I spent 8 years on the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, including two as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Social Sciences. I remain an active member of the International Sociology Association and its Family Research Committee.
As a teacher I have won recognition for my teaching, an activity that I value very highly. In 1992, I won the first of three consecutive Deans Excellence Awards, an achievement followed with an Outstanding Teaching Award from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (1993) and an Oswald Hall Teaching Award from the Department (1994). In 2003, I received the Outstanding Contribution Award from the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association. Since 1984, I have been listed in the Canadian Whos Who. In 2004, I was elected President of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association effectively, a three-year term of service on the Executive of that Association.