Measuring the Mosaic is a comprehensive intellectual biography of John Porter (1921-1979), author of The Vertical Mosaic (1965), preeminent Canadian sociologist of his time, and one of Canada's most celebrated scholars. In the first biography of this important figure, Rick Helmes-Hayes provides a detailed account of Porter's life and an in-depth assessment of his extensive writings on class, power, educational opportunity, social mobility, and democracy.
While assessing Porter's place in the historical development of Canadian social science, Helmes-Hayes also examines the economic, social, political and scholarly circumstances - including the Depression, World War II, post-war reconstruction, the baby boom, and the growth of universities - that contoured Porter's political and academic views. Using extensive archival research, correspondence, and over fifty original interviews with family, colleagues, and friends, Measuring the Mosaic stresses Porter's remarkable contributions as a scholar, academic statesman, senior administrator at Carleton University, and engaged, practical public intellectual.
‘Helmes-Hayes is gifted with a very reader friendly style of prose… This book should regenerate interest in the work of porter and prove useful to anyone interested in Canadian Sociology, class relations, and the history of sociology.’
A well researched and beautifully written biography of Canadian Sociologist John Porter.
‘Measuring the Mosaic is a real intellectual biography… A book to read if we want to know something about John Porter, the history of sociology in Canada and the relation of different generations of Canadian sociologists with Porter’s work.’