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Department of Sociology

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Carmen Schifellite, Assistant Professor

TELEPHONE:  416-979-5000 ext 2667

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B.S. (Georgetown University, Biology and Psychology), M.A. (University of Toronto, OISE/UT, Sociology and Equity Studies), Ph.D (University of Toronto, OISE/UT, Sociology and Equity Studies)


Science and Technology Studies, Popular Culture, Sociology of Knowledge, Graduate Methodologies

Professor Schifellite brings a critical sociology of knowledge perspective to his teaching and highlights the ways in which scientific and everyday forms of knowledge are constructed, legitimized and transformed. In doing so he emphasizes the importance of epistemological issues as they inform the social construction of both sociological forms of knowledge and other discipline-based forms of knowledge. In his courses, he also emphasize the importance of understanding the ways in which hegemonic discourses are constructed within science, the social sciences and in everyday social and political life.

RECENT COURSES (at Ryerson):

SOC105:  Introduction to Sociology
SOC 202: Popular Culture
CC8902:  Communications and Culture Research Methods Workshop
SOC611: Technology and the Future (Win 2011)


Sociology of Science Knowledge; Knowledge Production in the 21st Century; Media Studies; Epistemological Issues in Science and Engineering Education

Professor Schifellite has just finished a comprehensive study titled Biology After the Sociobiology Debate that focuses on genetic, evolutionary and epistemological issues arising from the sociobiology debate and their impact on six introductory biology textbooks written over the past twenty years. One of Professor Schifellite’s current projects is an interrogation of the concept of biological “traits” and its connection to the possible development of a consumer-based eugenics movement. A second research project is a case study of two related and radical medical treatments for chronic illness, one of which was developed in the early 20th century and the other in the early 21st century, and the impact of digital technologies on the accelerated spread of the latter.


2011 Biology After the Sociobiology Debate: What Introductory Textbooks Say About the Nature of Science and Organisms. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Group.
2011 With nine co-authors*. “Using Epistemological Challenges to Teach About Modest Epistemologies.” In the composite* article titled: “Multiple Perspectives on Engaging Future Engineers” in The Journal of Engineering Education. 100(1); 44-84.

*In this centennial issue, the editors sought to create an article in which ten people were asked to submit pieces that would then be put together into one larger piece with ten subsections.

2009 Time magazine publishes intentionally darkened mug shot of murder suspect O. J. Simpson on its cover,” pp. in 810-812, R. Kent Rasmussen, ed., Great Events from History: Modern Scandals.  Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.
2008 “Critical Criminology and 21st Century ‘Liberal’ Eugenics”. In The Critical Criminologist. 18(2); 13-17.
2002 “Professing Modest Claims in Education.” Professing Education. 1(1); 9-11.


Professor Schifellite is the organizer and a member of the Greater Toronto Area Marshall Protocol Support Group and he serves on the board of the Marie and Claire Schifellite Foundation