Our PM ‘commits sociology’ all the time

Posted on May 3, 2013 in Governance Debates

NationalPost.com – FullComment/Today’s Letters (Paul Russell)
13/05/03. Avi Goldberg

Re: Not The Time To ‘Commit Sociology’: PM, April 26

Several colleagues have written to national and local newspapers this week to complain that the Prime Minister has a limited understanding of sociology

But, if sociologists identify components of society and explore whether knowledge of their functions can influence thinking and action, I would say that Stephen Harper “commits” sociology all the time.

When the PM theorizes that newer immigrants are socially conservative and campaigns to them accordingly, he’s committing sociology. When the Conservatives design attack ads highlighting the so-called feminine gender characteristics of an opponent, the ruling party is committing sociology. Finally, in recognizing the place of hockey in Canadian culture and sparing no opportunity to talk about it, Mr. Harper is committing sociology yet again.

Maybe my colleagues have it wrong. The Prime Minister isn’t naive when it comes to committing sociology. He’s simply opposed to sociological work with the potential to yield insights he doesn’t want Canadians to have.

Avi Goldberg, sociology professor, Vanier College, Montreal

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