Vol 41 No 1 (2011)

The Ideological Orientations of Canadian University Professors

M. Reza Nakhaie
University of Windsor
Robert J. Brym
University of Toronto


This paper analyzes the ideological orientations of Canadian university professors based on a unique 2000 study of a representative sample of Canadian academics (n=3,318). After summarizing methodological problems with extant research on this subject, and tentatively comparing the political views of Canadian and American academics, the paper demonstrates that Canadian academics fall to the left of the political spectrum but are not hugely different in this respect from the Canadian university-educated population. Multivariate analyses reveal considerable heterogeneity in the ideological views of Canadian professors, suggesting that contemporary characterizations of the North American professoriate as left- or right-leaning tend to be overdrawn. Multivariate analyses demonstrate the importance of disadvantaged status and disciplinary socialization in shaping professors’ ideological views, although self-selection processes are not discounted.



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