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Neil Mclaughlin
Professor, Sociology

Born in Glasgow Scotland with Irish roots on the Clydeside, Neil McLaughlin grew up in Two Mountains, Quebec, and went to university on a soccer scholarship at Cleveland State University where he became an intellectual reading in the Cleveland public library and in a terrific (now defunct) interdisciplinary cluster college called "First College." He did his PhD at the Graduate Center of the City University and was educated around the circles of intellectuals at Dissent magazine and the Democratic Socialists of America. Dr. Mclaughlin publishes in sociological theory and the sociology of ideas, but his passion is non-dogmatic politics, public sociology and quality writing.

Dr. McLaughlin's academic writing is in the sociology of intellectuals, knowledge and ideas. He is interested in reputations, the relationship between marginality and creativity, and the future of higher education and disciplines and the history-sociology of sociology in Canada and comparatively. He is also interested in critical theory (particularly the work of Erich Fromm), and drawing on psychoanalytic ideas within sociology and social psychology. He would be interested in working with graduate students on a number of projects related to these broad concerns.

Dr. McLaughlin is currently writing about the reputation of George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist. He is interested in working with graduate students with interests in political sociology with language skills in Hungarian, Russian, Ukrainian, German, French and Spanish if you might be interested in working on a larger project on Soros. He is also writing on Noam Chomsky, with James Lannigan. He would be interested in follow up- research on Chomsky’s influence on contemporary politics.

Dr. McLaughlin is also writing on the broad issue of public intellectuals and public sociologists, in Canada and beyond. He is presently writing on woman public intellectuals in Canada with Iga Mergler. And he would have interest in working with an ambitious graduate student on the sociology of Canadian conservative intellectuals and their movement as well as on the sociology of anti-colonial and socialist movements. These specific topics are shaped by Dr. McLaughlin’ agenda on collaborative circles and intellectual movements, small networks of thinkers, cultural workers and activists with new ideas they are attempting to promote.

Dr, McLaughlin is also interested in the influence of psychoanalysis in sociology, and the ideas of psychologist Maslow and their influence on the social sciences. And he is interested in the debate about “post-materialism” in contemporary social science. And finally he is interested in the debate about the “sex worker” rights versus Nordic model “ban on buying sex” debate, a contentious controversy that is dividing feminists and human rights activists around the world and calls for a dispassionate but morally engaged sociological analysis.
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