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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.