Clinical Sociology in Québec: When Europe Meets America

  • Jacques Rhéaume

Clinical sociology is a way of doing sociology, so formally it is a methodological approach within sociology. However, methodology cannot be separated from theory, and clinical sociology involves, in some respects, a construction of a particular field of sociology. Methodology is not only a set of techniques used to gather data for analysis by sociologists in their role as an expert; methodology, in a broader sense, is about what kind of social issues are of interest, who is producing the proper knowledge to address those issues, and how can we develop not only theory but practical knowledge about those issues. This chapter illustrates this approach by examining the development of clinical sociology in Québec.

It is interesting to note that we speak of such a development in Québec and not in Canada. Sociology in Québec, as is the case for most social and human sciences, has been much more influenced by ideas and contributions from the United States or Europe than from the other Canadian provinces. The particular political status of Québec stems from a long history of resistance in an attempt to remain Francophone and culturally different from the rest of Canada. This is also reflected in the way sociology developed. Perhaps a more careful and extensive search would point to similar U.S. influences among Toronto or Vancouver sociologists. Nevertheless, cross-references between Québec and Canadian sociologists in publications, manuals, and, even more importantly, in actual research and practice projects are rare or nonexistent. Such is also the case for clinical sociology.


Social Practice Human Relation Life Story Social Intervention Symbolic Interactionism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Rhéaume
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychosociology and clinical sociologyUniversity of Quebec in MontrealMontrealCanada

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