Gustav E. Thaiss
Department of

Gustav E. Thaiss
Associate Professor, Faculty Emeriti

2046 Vari Hall
4700 Keele Street
North York, ON M3J 1P3

Phone: (416) 736-2100 ext 40143
Fax: (416) 736-5768


Educational Background

1973 PhD Was. St. - L.

Professor Thaiss is interested in a number of divergent, but interrelated topics. His major theoretical areas of specialization are symbolic anthropology; comparative religion, with concentration on Islamic societies; general theory and the history of social thought; comparative trade and marketing and organizational culture and symbolism.

A central theme uniting many of these diverse areas is, what might be called, a "micro-economics of information", i.e., a focus on the production, reproduction, dissemination and manipulation of information and systems of meaning in a market context under conditions of risk and uncertainty. This approach thus deals primarily with the reproduction and transmission of systems of meaning and how these shape and, in turn, are shaped by, power and economic relations among groups and classes in different societies. Among Professor Thaiss' publications are "Empathy vs. Objectivity: A Paradox"; "The Conceptualization of Social Change Through Metaphor" and "Religious Symbolism and Social Change: The Drama of Husain."

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