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Distinguished Canadians: John Porter

The Story


Canada may be a mosaic instead of a melting pot, but that doesn't mean everyone is equal. In his 1965 book Vertical Mosaic, author John Porter delves into Canada's class system and the power held by the elite. In this 1972 interview with CBC-TV's Distinguished Canadians, Porter says he considers Canada "a non-changing or slow changing society." Porter says he's specifically interested in breaking down barriers between French and English Canada. He also offers his views on newspaper ownership, Quebec politics and Canadian society.

Medium: Television
Program: Distinguished Canadians
Broadcast Date: June 26, 1972
Guest: John Porter
Interviewer: John David Hamilton
Duration: 26:38

Did You know?


• John Arthur Porter was born in Vancouver in 1921.

• He was educated at the London School of Economics, where he became interested in the study of socio-economic class systems. His work in social stratification was very influential on students of sociology from the 1950s to the 1970s.

• Porter worked at Carlton University, in Ottawa, for most of his life. He was a professor, department chair, dean and finally a vice-president of academics.

• He died in Ottawa in 1979. Just before his death, he compiled a book of essays entitled The Measure of Canadian Society: Education, Equality and Opportunity.


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