Ph.D., Sociology (York University)
M.A., Sociology (York University)
B.E.S., Urban Planning (University of Waterloo)
I quite enjoy teaching. In the Interdisciplinary Studies department, I teach the Capstone Research Project in Human Nature. This course lets students plan and develop a comprehensive research program on a topic of their choosing. In Sociology, I normally teach upper year courses on the body, violence, and classic sociological theory. A course in cognitive sociology is in the works.
My research interests are truly interdisciplinary. At the most general level, my work examines the social dimensions of the body, self, and cognition. I am particularly interested in how understandings of the mind and brain helped ground the production of classic sociological theory and, relatedly, in the relationship between the social and cognitive sciences. I thus tend to read a lot of 19th century social science, work in the history of psychology, and contemporary research in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind. Although sociologists don't normally think about how embodiment or cognitive processes affect social life, I think it's crucial to fully understand what it means to be human.
A side project concerns monsters...but that's a story for another time.
Work in Progress:
I am writing a book tentatively titled The Cognitive Foundations of Classic Sociological Theory. Through a historical lens, it shows how five canonical scholars—Comte, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, and Mead—each reflected on, built from, and engaged directly with topics related to cognition when producing their theoretical systems. It then critically evaluates their work relative to present-day research in cognitive science.
McVeigh, R. (2021). Never Merely a Peg: The body in symbolic interaction. Symbolic Interaction, 44(4), 855-857
McVeigh, R. (2020). Organism and Environment in Auguste Comte. History of the Human Sciences, 34(3-4), 76-97
McVeigh, R. (2020). The Body in Mind: Mead’s embodied cognition. Symbolic Interaction, 43(3), 493-513
McVeigh, R. (2020). The Neurosociology of Auguste Comte. Social Science Information, 59(2), 329-354
Academic Community Membership:
I am the founder and current Chair of the Cognitive Sociology research cluster at the Canadian Sociological Association. Every year we hold conference sessions and a general meeting to bring together scholars with similar interests. The research cluster does not take up a particular position on the relationship between the social and cognitive sciences. Instead, it seeks to advance sociological research that takes up cognition in any dimension, either as supported by or critical of research in the mind sciences.