Welcome to my website.
I am a faculty member in the Department of Sociology at York University in Toronto. This website is for anyone interested in my courses, my research, my writing, and my involvement in public life.
This page offers you four buttons: Courses, Research/Writing, Social Kinetics, and Contact.
"Courses" takes you to a menu of web-pages for courses I teach at York University: Social Order and Social Organisation (2nd yr undergrad), The Sociology of Science and Technology (4th year undergrad), and Sociological Perspectives on Science/Technology, Knowledge and Society (graduate)
"Research/Writing" leads you to published and published material. To date, most is about changes that have taken place in the university and in higher education policy over the past three decades but commentary on other issues is also posted. Be sure to visit the new pages on the Academic Callings project.
"Contact" will give you ways of reaching me.
The "Social Kinetics" page is still under construction but you may wonder what it is about. I have been involved throughout my academic career in challenging changes that, in my view, undermine the public-serving mission of universities. I could describe these activities as "political activism." But this phrase and others like it are too narrow for my purpose because they tend to convey organized political strategies and tactics through which "activists" take conscious aim at an issue or situation that they believe needs changing. As valuable and important as these strategies and tactics are, their high media profile often obscures and overpowers the role of many other, equally valuable ways of being an active agent and of having significant effects on social life, namely, more subtle, routine, and mundane ways in which people remake, or fail to remake, their social worlds. To avoid these pitfalls, I needed a word that conveyed a broader connotation than "activism." My friend and web-designer, Lynda Keenan of Many Hats Design Studio suggested "social kinetics" to convey my meaning and I have adopted it here. When you visit this website in the future, you will be able to see the concrete ways in which I employ it -so stay tuned!
Janice A. Newson