member button
special interest group btn
discussion button
news button
resources btn
Links btn


Bakker, J. I. (“Hans”)



J. I. (“Hans”) Bakker is a Professor of sociology at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He likes to say he is a “Frisian-Dutch-American-Canadian.” He was the President of the North Central Sociological Association April 2010-2011. He has won the Faculty Association Professorial teaching award. He was born in the Netherlands, grew up in Ohio and Alabama, and moved to Canada in 1971 because he received a University of Toronto Open Fellowship. He also received an International Development Research Center (IDRC) fellowship to study in Indonesia and a Ford Foundation internship grant to study Gandhi and human rights in India. He has published over forty articles and edited three books (on rural development, world hunger and the Hindu classic the Bhagavad Gita), and he is the author of Toward A Just Civilization, a book about Mahatma Gandhi’s social theory. He has also done twenty three encyclopedia articles, including fourteen for the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. He has spent three years in Indonesia, where, in addition to conducting archival research and fieldwork, he studied a bit of dance and gamelan. He speaks the Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia, at an advanced intermediate level and has done anthropological ethnographic field work with the Sea Nomads of Sulawesi (Bajo Laut). He is very interested in Indic Civilization, especially on Bali, and is currently doing tourism research in Bali.  He is a certified Kripalu yoga instructor who has also spent much time at Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Val Morin, Quebec. He has done Tibetan Buddhist initiations. He considers himself a Neo-Weberian Comparative-Historical Sociologist who utilizes Verstehen to attempt to fully understand cultures and civilizations that are far different from our secularized Post-Enlightenment culture. His current research focuses on the applicability of Charles Sanders Peirce’s Pragmatist (and “Pragmaticist”) triadic epistemology and semiotics to post-Postmodern sociological theory. He sees Peirce’s Pragmaticism as a tremendous theoretical and methodological improvement over the earlier monistic (Scholastic) and dualistic (Cartesian) epistemologies. Peirce’s relevance for sociology is only just beginning to be discovered, but many people know he is the root source of American Pragmatism. Hans feels, for example, that Peirce influenced George Herbert Mead’s notion of the “significant symbol.” See Hans’ web page for a complete C.V.:


Selected Publications

Bakker, Johannes I. (Hans) (2009), The Netherlands Indies in Aceh, Bali and Buton: degrees of resistance and acceptance of indirect and direct rule. Leidschrift, jaargang 24, nummer 1. PDF