Steven Rytina

Photo of Steven Rytina
Associate Professor (Post-Retirement)

E-Mail: steven.rytina [at] (Steven Rytina)

  • Research Areas
  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Research Grants

Research Areas

Stratification and mobility; statistics; math modeling; methods; social movements; justice; historical sociology; formal organizations.



(PhD, University of Michigan, 1980). Before coming to McGill in 1989, Prof. Rytina taught at SUNY-Albany and Harvard University. His interests include social networks, occupational mobility in comparative perspective, justice, collective vioence and social change, and inequality. He has published work on resistance to authority, equity perceptions, intermarriage, and modeling social networks in Social Forces, the American Journal of Sociology, and the American Sociological Review. He has published a series of articles that empirically challenge the standard finding that occupational mobility is prevalent in contemporary societies. One of his current projects is spelling out how time and social networks give rise to a conception of social structure that predicts these results. And (with Professor John Sandberg), he is engaged in a pilot study in Niakhar, Senegal on using a demographic registry system to assemble network data of (we hope) unprecedented scale and accuracy.


Selected Publications


William Gamson, Bruce Fireman, and Steven Rytina. 1982 Encounters with Unjust Authority. Homewood, Illinois: Dorsey Press

Robert Brym, John Lie and Steven Rytina. 2007 , Sociology: Your Compass for a New World Second Canadian Edition. Toronto: Thompson-Nelson.


Rytina, S., Peter Blau, Terry Blum, and Joseph Schwartz. 1988. "Inequality and Intermarriage: A Paradox of Motive and Constraint." Social Forces 66: 645-75

Rytina, S. 1992. "Scaling intergenerational continuity: is occupational inheritance ascriptive after all?" American Journal of Sociology. 97(6):1658-88.

Rytina, S. 2000. "Is occupational mobility declining in the United States?" Social Forces, 78(4): 1227-1276.

Rytina, S. 2002. "Youthful Vision, Youthful Promise, through Mid-Life Bifocals: C. Wright Mills' White Collar turns 50." Sociological Forum. 16(3), pp. 563-74.

Chapters and invited contributions

Rytina, S. 1998. "Loosening the Chains of Philosophic Reductionism," in A. Sica, ed., What is Social Theory. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. 192-218.

Rytina, S. 1999 "Social Structure" pp 1802-9 in The Encyclopedia of Sociology. (2nd Ed.) editor, Edgar F. Borgatta. New York: MacMillan

Rytina, S. 2007. “Occupations” Pp. 3247-3250 in The Encyclopedia of Sociology. George Ritzer (ed.) Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.


Courses Taught

Undergraduate Courses:
SOCI 210 Sociological Perspectives
SOCI 353 Inequality and Social Conflict

Graduate Seminars:
SOCI 505 Advanced Quantitative Methods
SOCI 510 Social Stratification


Research Grants

Prof. Rytina is currently working on a comparative analysis of social mobility contrasting SSIC with the Erikson-Goldthorpe non-hierarchical class model drawing on their CASMIN data sets. Among other things, this should provide a means for implementing comparisons among national data sets on a single dimension of fluidity (an intergenerational correlation) while conserving the local details of national coding schemes. The research has been funded for three years by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

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