canadian sociology new website

I am so excited about the Canadian Sociology Association’s new website that I want to shout it out in all caps. (Don’t worry; I’ll restrain myself.) It is a professionally designed website, with actual information on it! And with images! And a readable font!

And thank goodness, once again, for the Wayback Machine, so that I can show you what the old website looked like. Take a look, and if your eyeballs haven’t melted, then ponder how that could be the website of a national academic professional association not of 1992, but of 2009.

Just over a year ago, the membership voted to increase their own fees to pay for the new website. Good choice, Canada. I am with you.

9 thoughts on “canadian sociology new website”

  1. 1. is the extra head room in the president’s welcome message so that they can enter thought bubbles later?

    2. i love the discussion on the choice of colours on the website. i think they chose brown in support of the original brown zune.

    but it does look a million* times better.

    *estimate, not based on actual research.

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  2. I thought it was illegal in Quebec to have anything that isn’t French-dominant. There doesn’t even seem to be a button for switching to French, and the site seems to be monolingual English. Not that I read French, but this is contrary to what I thought I knew about the politics of Canada.

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  3. Oo! I hadn’t even noticed that! Yes, there has always been a bilingual approach to Canadian sociology, though with a bent toward English (for example, the journal published by this organization translates the abstracts, but not the articles, into French).

    I searched around a bit for a notice that perhaps this was just Phase 1 of the new site and that the French site would be up soon, but instead, I found an offhand remark in the newsletter from the CSA President, John Goyder:

    “To function at its best, the CSA needs to speak for all sociologists in Canada, certainly within Anglophone Canada given that Francophone sociologists have their own association.”

    Are they throwing down the English-only gauntlet? I don’t know!

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  4. OW: I’m not sure if and how Bill 101 (the Quebec law stating that public signs must be French-dominant, among other things) would apply to websites. Of course, the law predates the internet, but given that the website isn’t physically situated in Quebec, I don’t see how it would be applicable. For that matter, if the website/server was located in Quebec, or even directly marketed at Quebecois, I still don’t know if and how such laws could be enforced.

    Governing the internet is an interesting emergent ‘social problem.’ Our technology generally moves faster than our laws, and the internet transcends geographical/political boundaries.

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    1. Of course, the legal situation is one thing. But I was more just shocked that there would be an English-only site put up by Canadians. As I said, I’m not Canadian, but what I’ve read and heard about Canada’s ethnic politics makes this pretty surprising to me. Tina seemed shocked, too.

      Are you Canadian? Did this surprise you? Not the legal status, the political meaning of it.

      I did note that the address listed on the site is in Montreal and wondered how the Quebec government might feel about it. I would have been less shocked, I guess, If I’d seen that the CSA address was listed as, say, Vancouver.

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      1. Yup, I’m Canadian by birth. When Tina came to McMaster, I was sent South to help prevent a trade deficit of sociologists.

        I’m not an expert on these matters, but I’d argue that bilingualism in Canada tends to be much more bifurcated than integrated in the country, and even in Quebec. While Canada is federally bilingual, only one province – New Brunswick – is officially so.

        Further, Quebec has three entirely Anglophone universities (McGill, Concordia, Bishop’s), so there definitely are English-only academic and cultural enclaves within the province. Off the top of my head, I think the U of Ottawa is the only fully bilingual university in the country.

        Tina might have picked up on something with that Goyder quote. Although, I believe that going “English only” would require a vote by the CSA membership. Given the linguistic divide, the separation of the two scholarly communities doesn’t surprise me all that much. However, since the CSA officially still has a Francophone component (e.g., the Aug 2010 Canadian Review of Sociology was entirely en français), there needs to be a French website until the for now. I guess by not complying with its current bilingual mission, the apparent lack of a French website would be a bit surprising.

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  5. I got a clarification that the French translations are on the way. Small budget, almost no staff, very few Francophone members are the reasons, but apparently the commitment to bilingual communications is still there, I am told.

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  6. The image I got from being there: Anglophone and Francophone sociologies in Canada are pretty much separate and members of both traditions tend to keep to themselves. Thus the separate associations. It’s a shame, since they pretty much ignore each other instead of cross-pollinating.

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