A photograph of Michael Bator.

‘I Love Contributing to the Active Pursuit of Knowledge’

This graduate student has been drawn to sociology his whole life, but he's also got thoughts on Spider-Man and all-you-can-eat sushi.


Michael Bator is a graduate student in sociology at the University of Toronto. His research interests focus on the social determinants and consequences of perceived status inequality. We asked him everything from his love of the active pursuit of knowledge to the latest Spider-Man movie in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what goes on outside the lab for one of the best minds in Canadian research.

What do you like most about being a researcher?

What I love most about being a researcher is contributing to the active pursuit of knowledge. As a researcher, when you make a finding, you actively contribute to your field and build upon the existing literature. I have always found it so cool to be able to know that as a researcher you actively contribute to our understanding of the world; particularly, the social world in my field!

What advice would you give young researchers?

The advice that I would give young researchers is to not be afraid of reaching out and talking to your professors! Your professors are amazing people and can really help you with either your research or even getting into research if you are looking to start out!

What inspired you to become a researcher?

What inspired me to become a researcher was a love for my field and a little bit of good fortune! I always loved sociology and had questions that I was interested in exploring, and by opportunity I had some amazing professors that helped to move me toward becoming a researcher. These professors helped me get some direct experience in research, and from there I could pursue my goal of being able to produce research of my own!

What do you like to do for fun?

Some of my favourite things to do for fun are to work out or watch a good movie. Working out is always a nice way to relieve tension while listening to your favourite music! On the other hand, watching movies is a good way to just sit back and relax when you get the chance (the recent Spider-Man movie was great; I highly recommend it).

What’s your favourite cuisine?

My favourite cuisine has got to be sushi, but I have a very “love/hate” relationship. There is nothing I love more than all-you-can-eat sushi, but at the same time, after such a meal I can’t even look at sushi for an entire week. There is nothing better than getting a month’s worth of sushi in one sitting.

If you could do any profession other than your own what would it be?

I have always been interested in going to law school and becoming a lawyer. Part of my inspiration for studying sociology was my interest in law, and I have always also wanted to go to law school as well!

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

I feel like my choice would be Robin Williams. He has always been the definition of a kind-souled individual to me, and I feel like there is a lot to learn about how to live life from a person like him. I feel like meeting Robin Williams would be life-changing in many ways and I would love the opportunity to do so.

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