John Porter: Canada's Most Famous Sociologist (And His Links to American Sociology)

Helmes-Hayes, Rick
March 2002
American Sociologist;Spring2002, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p79
Academic Journal
The article features Canadian sociologist John Porter. Each year between 1956 and 1968 at the annual meetings of the American Sociological Association they announced the winner of the MacIver Award, the honor given to the author of the book judged to be the most important work published during the previous year. In 1966, something happened at the announcement ceremony that had never occurred before and did not happen again for the duration of the award: it was given to a Canadian author for a book written about Canada. The author was John Porter of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario. The book was The Vertical Mosaic: An Analysis of Class and Power in Canada. John Porter went on to become Canada's most famous English-language sociologist and TVM became the most important and famous book in the history of Canadian sociology. John Arthur Porter was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1921, the second of three children of Arthur Porter, an accountant, and Ethel Cuffin, a former schoolteacher. Porter was a highly productive researcher who throughout his career focused his scholarly, political, and administrative attention on a handful of key questions. TVM is clearly the most famous and influential of the , but there were others as well: Occupational Prestige in Canada, Towards 2000, Does Money Matter?, the McInnis Lectures, Stations and Callings, and Ascription and Achievement.


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