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Department of Sociology

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Alan D. Sears, Professor

TELEPHONE:  416-979-5000 ext 4599

Faculty Photo


B.A. (Carleton), M.A. (Carleton), Ph.D (Warwick, Sociology) 


Introductory courses; work; sexuality and theory

Alan’s teaching focusses on courses that introduce students to social scientific inquiry and use those methods to investigate the world around us.  He believes students can help each other learn, as they share the results of their inquiry.   He has designed a course where senior students learn about learning by helping first-years students in their own process of investigation.  He has won a number of teaching awards, including the President’s Award at Ryerson in 2010. 


SSH  100: Social Scientific Inquiry; 
SSH 500:  Peer Learning Experience; SOC 472: Sociology of Work and Occupations  


Sexuality; Theory; Social Movement; Work; Education

Alan’s has written or co-written three books and a number of articles and chapters focussing on social change, inequality and ways of knowing.  His academic research is connected to his activist engagements in movements for social justice.  He is currently working on a book on democracy in the age of neo-liberalism with James Cairns and another on rebuilding radical activism in the age of austerity.


2012 Cairns, James and Alan Sears, The Democratic Imagination: Envisioning Popular Power in the Twenty-First Century. University of Toronto Press
2010 Sears, Alan and James Cairns. A Good Book in Theory: Making Sense through Inquiry (second edition) University of Toronto Press
2010 Sears, Alan and Mary Jo Nadeau “The Palestine Test: Countering the Silencing Campaign.” Studies in Political Economy, Spring 2010 Volume 85 pp.7-34
2006 Hall, Alan; Forrest, Anne; Sears, Alan; Carlan, Niki; “Making a Difference: Knowledge Activism and Worker Representation in Joint OHS Committees.” Industrial Relations/Relations Industrielles, 61(3) pp. 408-436
2005 Sears, Alan, “Queer Anti-Capitalism: What's Left of Lesbian and Gay Liberation?” Science and Society 69(1), pp.92-112
2003 Sears, Alan.  Retooling the Mind Factory: Education in a Lean State.  Garamond Press
1999 Sears, Alan "The Lean' State and Capitalist Restructuring: Towards a Theoretical Account," Studies in Political Economy 59: 91‑114


Alan is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers’ Assembly and participates in Stop the Cuts and many other movements.  His activist writing is published in the New Socialist webzine, the Bullet, Briarpatch and other places.