This study investigates whether the hiring of professors in Canada, a land of public universities and inexpensive tuition, is more equitable in terms of socioeconomic class than the hiring of their counterparts in the United States. Featuring original data on the degrees of all tenure track and tenured faculty members who teach in English doctoral programs in Canada, this article examines the relation between, on the one hand, the nationalities and the rankings of the programs in which these scholars obtained their degrees and, on the other, the tier of the programs in which these scholars teach. Employing previously unprocessed data from Statistics Canada and in dialogue with research on higher education, including the writings of Pierre Bourdieu, this article discusses the mechanisms through which faculty hiring patterns in Canadian English departments are strongly tied to PhD holders’ socioeconomic backgrounds. This study discusses the implications of such tracking patterns for first-generation university students—who comprise 38.8 percent of English doctoral recipients in Canada—when they seek positions in the professoriat.
Degrees of Separation: Hiring Patterns and First-Generation University Students with English Doctorates in Canada
Lynn Arner is an associate professor of English at Brock University. Her research centers on academe, feminist theory, and medieval English literature. Her first monograph was Chaucer, Gower, and the Vernacular Rising: Poetry and the Problem of the Populace after 1381. She has published several articles on late medieval English literature and on the professoriat. She is currently writing her second book on gender and class in the professoriat.
Lynn Arner; Degrees of Separation: Hiring Patterns and First-Generation University Students with English Doctorates in Canada. the minnesota review 1 May 2021; 2021 (96): 101–134. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00265667-8851562
Download citation file: