Professor Baumann received a B.A. in sociology from McGill University in 1994 and a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University in 2001. He joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Toronto in 2002.
Professor Baumann’s main area of expertise is the sociological study of the media, culture, and the arts. He regularly teaches undergraduate courses on the mass media, with an emphasis on media controversies, marketing, and recent developments in theory and evidence regarding media effects. At the graduate level, he has taught a seminar on the sociology of culture and has co-taught the department’s required Doctoral Research Practicum.
His research centres on several key concepts, those of evaluation, legitimacy, status, cultural schemas, and inequality. In the past he has investigated these questions in the cases of the Hollywood fim industry, Canadian television advertising, and gourmet food. He is currently engaged in a collaborative project with Josée Johnston on the political dimensions of food consumption and together they are beginning to investigate the ways that consumers think about buying and eating different kinds of meat. He is also currently studying changes over time in the news framing of economic inequality, with a focus on a comparison between Canada and the United States. He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Poetics: Journal of Empirical Research on Culture, Media, and the Arts for 2015-2017.