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- ATLANTIC INSTITUTE OF CRIMINOLOGY
BA (Manitoba), MA, PhD (Wisconsin), Professor Emeritus
firstname.lastname@example.org (902) 494-1777
Old White House, Corner of University and LeMarchant Street, room 3.
Dr. Thiessen is currently working on four main interests.
(1) Schoolwork transitions. Current investigations focus on the various pathways along which young Canadians navigate their way from schooling to employment. The concern is to understand how initial structural differences in youth's familial background translate into divergent educational and subsequent occupational/labour market outcomes. The different trajectories of men and women are examined to unravel the complex interplay between societal opportunity and constraint structures, individual differences in abilities, and human agency. Throughout, the role of social policy in these connections is examined.
(2) The prospects and limits of youth's access and use of information and communication technology for reducing inequities emanating from traditional structural barriers, such as gender, immigrant status, and social class background.
(3) Development of a theory of systematic bias in research. The approach taken is to incorporate substantive hypotheses into the data collection process. For example, the "fallacy of assumed similarity" postulates that individuals will perceive others of their own groups as being more similar to themselves than they really are. Incorporating this "fallacy" into a theory of systematic measurement error would lead to the awareness that socialization studies overestimate the influence parents have on their children. This is because most studies use children's perception of parents’ attitudes and behaviours as a proxy for the parents' answers.
Books and Monographs
1999 Investing in Youth: The Nova Scotia School-to-Work Transition Project. Human Resources Development Canada (with D. Looker).
1993 Arguing with Numbers, Fernwood Press, Halifax.
2009 “The processes linking parental socio-economic status to cognitive skill development of children between 6 and 18 years of age: An assessment of the current literature.” Manuscript prepared for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
2009 “Bridging and bonding social capital: Computer and internet use among youth in relation to their cultural identities” (with E. Dianne Looker). In E. Dianne Looker and Ted. D. Naylor (eds.) Digital Diversity: Youth Equity, and Information Technology. Wilfred Laurier Press
2009 "Facts and artifacts in cross-national research: The case of political efficacy and trust" (with Jörg Blasius). In Max Haller and Tom Smith (eds.) Charting the Globe. The International Social Survey Programme 1984-2009. Routledge.
2009 "The pursuit of post-secondary education: A comparison of First Nations,
African, Asian, and European Canadian youth." Canadian Review of Sociology. 46 (1)
2008 "Resilience and educational pathways: A longitudinal analysis of low reading achievers." Canadian Journal of Family and Youth. 1 (1): 27-62
2008 "Cultural centrality and information and communication technology among Canadian youth" (with E. Dianne Looker). Canadian Journal of Sociology 33 (2): 309-334
2008 "Acquiring Literacy Skills: A Comparison of Provincial and International Results from PISA and IALSS." Manuscript prepared for the Canadian Education Statistics Council and the Council of Ministers of Education Canada.
2008 "Educational and labour market pathways among minority language groups." Manuscript prepared for Human Resources and Social Development Canada.
2007 "Cultural differences in information and communication technology: Access, use, and skill development among high school students" (with E. Dianne Looker). Pp 139-154 in Ambigapathy Pandian and Marilyn Kell (eds) Literacy: Diverse Perspectives and Pointers for Practice. Serdang: Universiti Putra Malaysia Press
2007 "Performance and perception: Exploring gender gaps in human capital skills." Canadian Journal of Sociology 32 (2): 145-176
2007 "Digital Divides and Capital Conversion: The Optimal use of Information and Communication Technology for Youth Reading Achievement." (with E. Dianne Looker). Information, Communication & Society 10 (2):159-180
2007 "The second chance system: Results from the three cycles of the Youth in Transition Survey " (with E. Dianne Looker). Manuscript prepared for Human Resources and Social Development Canada.
2007 "The impact of factors on trajectories that lead to a high school diploma and to participation in post-secondary education among those with low reading competencies at age 15." Manuscript prepared for Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Accessible at: http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/publications_resources/learning_policy/sp_795_11_07e/page00.shtml
2007 "The impact of factors on trajectories that lead to non-completion of high school and lack of post-secondary education among those with high reading competencies at age 15." Manuscript prepared for Human Resources and Social Development Canada. Accessible at:
2007 "Academic performance, human capital skill formation, and post-secondary education: A comparison of First Nation, immigrant, visible minority, and other native-born Canadian youth." Manuscript prepared for Canadian Labour and Skills Researcher Network. Working paper Number1
2006 "A three-step approach to assessing the behavior of survey items in cross-national research" (with Jörg Blasius) pp. 433-454 in Michael Greenacre and Jörg Blasius (eds.) Multiple Correspondence Analysis and Related Methods, Chapman and Hall/CRC