The Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto has a diverse faculty of professors who have a wide range of experiences. While they share backgrounds in sociology and its intersecting disciplines, each faculty member has individual experiences that have shaped their academic careers. In this series, we interview faculty at the St. George campus to acknowledge and share these stories, and get to know the influences behind their journeys.
Professor Adam Green is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. His research is situated at the intersection of the sociology of sexuality and medical sociology, and aims to develop theory relevant to both areas. In this interview, he discusses the experiences that led to his career in sociology.
What led you to pursue a career in sociology?
As a gay man coming of age in the 1980s, I felt a deep sense of marginality from the dominant culture. My interest in sociology sprung out of that experience. I wanted to know more about the sociology of homosexuality and further, the sociology of sexualities more generally. How was my perceived marginality a function of institutional and cultural processes? How do social structures shape the lived experience of being gay? How does heteronormativity shape the choices sexual minorities make with respect to sexual practice and sexual identity? These were a few of the questions that led me to pursue a career in sociology.
What, in your own undergraduate experience, was important for you?
Mentorship was extremely important for me as an undergraduate student. Finding professors with whom I had shared interests reaffirmed for me that a career in the academy and that graduate work in sociology were pathways that fit with my interests and capacities.
What do you love about sociology?
What I love most about sociology is its breadth. Sociology encompasses such a broad range of substantive areas and from such a diversity of methodologies. Literally, any topic that intersects with society can become a focal point of research. And one is not bound by a methodological orthodoxy, as in some other fields, but can find a wide array of methodological tools and approaches to their topic of choice.