Gary Barron, PhD

Academic Centre
I am a generalist sociologist who is interested in how categories and numbers are made and what they do once they are brought into the world. More traditionally stated, my scholarly interests are the politics and organization of knowledge, science and technology, health and illness, mental health and illness, the intersections of these with law, organizations, performance and strategy.
Sociology of knowledge
Institutional ethnography
Science and technology
Surveillance studies
Higher education
Organizations and strategy
Mental health
Social research methods
Socio-legal studies
Equity, diversity and inclusion

Professional Experience

Teaching Experience

I currently teach in the Criminal Justice - Policing diploma program and the Justice Studies – Bachelor of Applied Arts degree program. Some of the courses I currently teach include ethics and critical thought, diverse populations in public safety, and contemporary youth justice. In the past, I have taught an introduction to social stratification and inequality as well as crime, deviance and social control.

Industry Work

I previously worked in a number of research and strategy roles including as an independent consultant at the University of Calgary, the University of Alberta, the City of Calgary and Alberta Health Services Addiction and Mental Health. I was also a support worker for people dually diagnosed with mental illness and intellectual disabilities for a number of years.


I have experience with numerous social research methods and use them to answer complex questions for organizations as well as to satisfy my own academic curiosity. Some of the applied projects I have completed include evaluation of a large collaborative research grant program, the City of Calgary low income transit pass and creation of the city’s equity, diversity and inclusion strategy. My doctoral research examined organizational surveillance, performance and strategy through university ranking systems and related practices. My current research examines justice and crime related performance metrics, statistics and quantification in Canadian society.


Academic Credentials

B.A. Sociology (Honours), B.Sc. Psychology, M.A. Sociology, PhD. Sociology.


Peer reviewed articles

Barron, Gary R.S. 2017. "The Berlin Principles on Ranking Higher Education Institutions: limitations, legitimacy, and value conflict." Higher Education, 73(2), 317-333, doi:10.1007/s10734-016-0022-z

Barron, Gary R.S. 2016. "The Alberta Mental Health Act 2010 and Revolving Door Syndrome: Control, Care, and Identity in Making Up People." Canadian Review of Sociology, 53(3)290-315

Book chapters

Barron, Gary RS. (2021). Rankings as Surveillance Assemblage. University Rankings and the Politics of Knowledge. Edited by Michelle Stack, Chuing Prudence Chou, Mayumi Ischikawa, and André Mazawi. University of Toronto Press: Toronto, ON.

Corman, Michael K, and Gary RS Barron. 2017. “Institutional Ethnography and Actor-network-theory: In dialogue”. Pp. 49-70Y in Studies in Qualitative Methodology: Perspectives on and from Institutional Ethnography, edited by James Reid and Lisa Russell. Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.