Star Wars in Canadian Sociology: Exploring the Social Construction of Knowledge


127 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-895686-18-0
DDC 301'.0971




Reviewed by François Boudreau

Franзois Boudreau is a sociology professor at Laurentian University in


This book introduces us to a post-Kuhnian (or postmodernist
epistemological) perspective that is applied to five case studies on
Canadian sociology. Nock effectively shows the importance of taking the
social context into account when dealing with the construction and
circulation of knowledge. His chapter on the career of S.D. Clark is of
particular interest, because it demonstrates how deeply social
conditions influence our vision of the world. Similarly, his chapter on
the construction of reputation in anglo-Canadian sociology explains the
workings of the coterie system (or networking from the centre) of
Canadian sociology. Nock concludes with an appeal to readers to break
away from the positivist view of social science, particularly in the
university setting, where data take the place of theory and where
numbers, charts, and graphs are supposed to make students understand the
subtleties of social relations.

We are left with the impression of a book that is poorly sewn together.
Nock makes a contribution to the discipline, but more from a historical
perspective than from an epistemological standpoint. That is
unfortunate, because there is room for an epistemological exploration
that would show how positivism creates more problems than it solves.
Nock is right to suggest that the promises of social sciences will not
bear fruit unless we abandon positivism.


Nock, David A., “Star Wars in Canadian Sociology: Exploring the Social Construction of Knowledge,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 25, 2023,