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Wolfgang Lehmann

Photo by Eric Simard

Wolfgang Lehmann, Professor

Full CV  pdf

In the Media

Oct. 13, 2019 "Who is Canada's middle class?" CBC News

July 31, 2019 audio "What does 'middle class' really mean, anyway?" The Big Story

July 16, 2019 "What does it mean to be working class in Canada?" Macleans

Recent Activities

Mar. 2 chaired Work, Labour & Class Inequality session of the Sociology Graduate Student Conference

  • Bio

  • Teaching

  • Publications

  • Research

Ph.D Sociology, University of Alberta,
M.A. Adult Education, University of Toronto/OISE
MBA, City University of New York
Vordiplom, University of Mannheim


Special Appointments

Chair, Sociology (as of July 1, 2019)

Undergraduate Program Chair (2013-2019)

Teaching Awards

2014 University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll, Western University

2008 University Student Council Teaching Honour Roll, Western University

Currently Teaching

  • 3307G - 002 Investigating the Social World: Qualitative Research

Thesis Supervision

Supervisory Status:  MA, PhD

PhD Thesis

Alison Butler, PhD in Music Education; co-advisor with Dr. Ruth Wright (Charisma, Talent and Judgment in Music Education, in progress)

Beth Torrens, PhD Advisor (Sexual bullying in high school; in progress)

Cliff Davidson, PhD Advisor (Toward a New Definition of Student Success; in progress)

Mike Courey, PhD Advisor (2019 completed) Critical Urban Renewal: A Theoretical Construct and Case Study"

Aisha Birani, PhD Advisor (2017 completed) Toward an Inclusive Islamic Identity? A Study of First- and Second-Generation Muslims in Canada

Guliz Akkaymak, PhD Advisor (2016 completed) A Critical Examination of Immigrant Integration: Experiences of Immigrants from Turkey to Canada

MA Thesis

Emily Alexander, MA Thesis Advisor (completed April 2017) Physical and Digital Disengagement Behaviours in the University Classroom

Awish Aslam, MA Thesis Advisor (completed 2016) School–Work Transitions among Second-Generation Immigrants

Kate Blair, MA Thesis Advisor (completed August 2015) Looking to the Future: Considering the Educational Transitions of Deaf Youth in Ontario

Christina DeRoche, MA Thesis Supervisor (completed 2007) Stigma and Bureaucracy in a General Education Classroom: A Study of Inclusion

MA Research Papers

Brittany Kosir, Mentoring Youth: Effects of Participating in the Go Girls! Program

Elizabeth Torrens, Gendered Harassment and Education: A Content Analysis of the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Toronto District School Board Harassment Policies.

Angela Sutton, Factors Impacting the Success of First-Generation Students at an Ontario College: A Study of Student Participation, Retention and Academic Success.

Michelle Schoblocher, The Role Extracurricular Activities Play in Students' Academic Success

Nicole Etherington, Empowering Students or Molding the Middle Class?: A Content Analysis of the DSBN Academy

Aisha Birani, Ethnicity as Social Capital: An Examination of First-generation, Asian-Canadians in University

Tanya Farr, An Analysis of First-generation Students: The Transition from Post-secondary School to Work and Community Service-learning Programs.

Matthew Hayes, Self-Esteem and Educational Aspirations amongst Incoming University Students: A Gendered Analysis

Victoria Sit, Buying into the rhetoric: How political and economic discourses impact student consumerism

Suresh Kumar,  The Language Policy in Public Schools of India: The Case of Tamil Nadu

Kristina Greenaway, I Know That I'm Gonna Have Success: Emerging Adulthood and Working-Class, First-Generation University Students

Richard Telfer, Narrativity and Class Consciousness: Working-class Students' Early Experiences of University

MA Area Papers

Dane Bourgard, Individuals, Morality, and Corporate Social Responsibility: Emphasizing the Role of Human Agency in Corporations

Katharina Wolff, The School to Work Transition: Applying various forms of capital to explain the employment outcomes of young university graduates

Dave Zarifa, Closed-Ended Agency for Young Canadians: A Critical Examination of the Contemporary School-to-Work Transitions Literature; and Mass Education or Mass Disengagement: A Review of the Credentialist Debate in the United States

Recent Publications
>for more see Full CV


(2016) (ed.) Education and Society: Canadian Perspectives , Oxford University Press.

Book Chapters

(2019) "On the Marginal Status of Apprenticeships in Canada" pp 381-394 in M. Pilz, K. Breuing, and S. Schumann (eds) Berufsbildung zwischen Tradition und Moderne (Vocational Education between Tradition and Modernity), Springer.

(2017) "Labour Markets, Inequality, and the Future of Work" (with Tracey L. Adams) Chapter 6 in Edward Grabb, Jeffrey G. Reitz, and Monica Hwang (eds.), Social Inequality in Canada: Dimensions of Disadvantage , 6th ed., Oxford University Press

(2016) "Sociology of Education in Canada: History, Theory, and Research" in Wolfgang Lehmann (ed), Education and Society: Canadian Perspectives , Oxford University Press

(2016) “'They really drill it into you to go to university': Influences on working-class students’ decision to go to university" in A.E. Stich and C. Freie, The working classes and higher education: Inequality of access, opportunity and outcome , Routledge

Refereed Journal Publications

(2019) "Grill Guys and Drive-Thru Girls: Discourses of Gender in Young People's Part-time Work" (with L. Sheppard, R. Raby and R. Easterbrook) Journal of Childhood Studies 44(3):56-69.

(2019) "Forms of Capital in Working-Class Students' Transition from University to Employment" Journal of Education and Work 32(4): 347-359.

(2019) "'If you want to have a future and get a life, do an apprenticeship': The expectations and realities of tradesmen's transition to adulthood" (with Laura Wright and A. Taylor) Journal of Youth Studies DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2019.1636947.

(2018) "Reflections on using participant-generated, digital photo-elicitation in research with young Canadian workers" (with R. Raby, J. Helleiner and R. Easterbrook) International Journal of Qualitative Methods 17:1-10.

(2018) "'I'll be more prepared than most people’: Young people talking about their first jobs" (with R. Raby, J. Helleiner and R. Easterbrook) Childhood 25(2): 237-252.

(2018) "Research Note: Forms of Capital and Habitus in the Decision to Go on Academic Exchange" (with Holly Trower) Canadian Review of Sociology 55(1): 136-148.

(2017) "Strategic Escapes: Negotiating motivations of personal growth and instrumental benefits in the decision to study abroad" (with Holly Trower) British Educational Research Journal 43(2): 275-289.

(2015) "On the Role of Habitus and Field in Apprenticeships" (with Alison Taylor) Work, Employment and Society 29(4): 607-623.

(2015) "‘Go West Young Man’: Youth apprenticeship and opportunity structures in two Canadian provinces" (with Alison Taylor, and Zane Hamm) Journal of Education and Work 28(1): 44-65.

Dr. Lehmann specializes in the areas of work, education, and social inequality. His main research focus is on the interplay between structural factors and individual agency in school-work transitions. He is currently working on a SSHRC-funded research project investigating the experiences of first-generation, working-class university students.

Current Research Projects

First Jobs: Young People's Reflections on Very Early Paid Employment in Canada

The hard-working student: a Canadian study

The class of '73: a 46-year longitudinal follow-up study

Tracking High-school Apprentices: Expectations, Experiences and Outcomes

University and Low Socio-economic Status Students: Access, Experiences, and Class Identity

Developing ‘vocational habitus’: The experiences of high school apprentices

International Students as Future Citizens