Benet Davetian

Former Chair and associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of PEI, Director of the Civility Institute, Author

Benet Davetian

Dr. Benet Davetian is an Associate Professor and the former Chair in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Prince Edward Island.  He is the Director and Founder of the Civility Institute and a best-selling Author.

Dr. Davetian is one of the world's leading experts on 'civility' and its role in human interaction, social organization and conflict.  He has researched civility and human interaction in France, England and America and appeared on special documentaries produced by CTV and CBC. He has also appeared on numerous media programs.

He is actively involved in writing and speaking about civility and human interaction in institutions and families, youth culture and media, corporate productivity and ethics, and educational excellence. His  presentations cover a wide variety of topics that involve effective inter-personal interaction.

His most recent book, Civility: A Cultural History, is a multi-dimensional and in-depth analysis of the history and the  social and personal psychology of human interaction. It charts a new course for the study and understanding of civility and civil society.

Civility addresses major topics in public discourse today regarding the ideals and practices of civility and the possibility of a civility ethic capable of inspiring cooperation within private and institutional settings and across cultural and national boundaries. Endorsements for the book include: "Benet Davetian's scintillating tour de force fills a gaping void in the history of ideas..." (P.M. Forni, Johns Hopkins  University); "Civility: A cultural History is a tour-de-force: a work of dazzling scholarship on this core concept of our social life" (Anthony Synnott, Concordia University); "Impressive in both scope and depth, this engaging book is an innovative and substantial dialogue on the concept of civility" (Jean-Francois Côté, Université du Québec à Montréal)

An earlier book, The Seventh Circle, was awarded the Mordecai Richler Prize for best book of the year and short-listed for other Canadian literary prizes. His writings on society, multiculturalism, and inter-civilizational conflict have been quoted internationally.

In 2004, he was selected for inclusion in Canada's Who's Who in recognition of his contributions to literature, multiculturalism and Canadian identity. 

His various scholarly activities have been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the British Commonwealth Association of Universities. 

He maintains an internationally-popular website for sociological research: Sociology Web and a YouTube director's channel SOCIOLOGICAL that features hundreds of videos on subjects of interest to social scientists and members of the public.

Those who have had the pleasure of being present at his presentations describe him as a dynamic, and inspiring  speaker who possesses the rare ability to engage his audience through thought-provoking talks that combine in-depth insights, humour and stories that are  specially chosen to appeal to specific audience and conference themes. His presentations  are always illustrated with powerful engaging video clips.

Please contact us for more information or to book Dr. Benet Davetian for your next event.

  1. CIVILITY: The Elusive Ideal

    Cut off in traffic? Bumped without apology on the subway? Forced to listen to a profane conversation in a public space? In today's Western societies, many feel that there has been a noticeable and marked decrease in mutual consideration in both public and private settings. Are we less civil now than in the past? Benet Davetian responds to this question with a highly engaging multi-media presentation that addresses our need to have a cooperative society while accommodating the competitive aspirations of the individual.

  2. YOUTH CULTURE: The Unknown Generation

    Who are these youth whom social scientists and journalists address as "Generation Me"? Do we really know or understand them? Or are they being stereotyped due to their common dependence on new media? Benet Davetian offers a thought-provoking talk on this very important generation that will ultimately be left taking care of the generations that came before it. How can their educational performance be improvde? How can they be more included in political and ethical discussions? Following his research in three nations, Dr. Davetian presents a surprisingly optimistic and insightful preview of the potentials of this generation.

  3. INCIVILITY IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT: Its Psychological and Financial Consequences

    Incivility and bullying are not found only in schools. They are ever-present in corporations and other institutions. In this motivating and thought-provoking talk, Benet Davetian presents evidence of how troubled interactions and non-productive conflict are costing corporations billions of dollars in lost productivity per year. He offers clear suggestions on how a work culture that is fair and creative can be nurtured and maintained with the added bonus of improved employee health, motivation and performance.

  4. THE BULLYING EPIDEMIC: How Bullying is causing inestimable harm in schools and institutions.

    The Bully does not always arrive with a baseball bat. More often than not, sweet smiles and manipulative psychological manoeuvres  mask the bully's determination to control and dominate others at the cost of community's well-being. Benet Davetian provides multi-dimensional insights on the personal and social forces that go into the making of bullying behaviour. As part of his presentation, he offers specific solutions for administrators who need a fair template for intervention, victims of bullying who need support to resist and affirm their rights, and bullies who need support to develop more pro-social behavioural strategies.

  5. CUSTOMER SERVICE: How to Succeed in the Global Marketplace by treating customers with competence and caring.

    On one hand the corporation needs to limit claims against it if it is to be profitable. On the other hand, it needs to project the image (and deliver on it) of an institution that approaches its products and/or services with integrity. How can these two potentially contradictory goals be achieved through a new humanized customer service policy and practices? Benet Davetian responds to this question by offering fascinating insights on how, through a committed and caring customer service department, consumers can be left caring not only about their own welfare but also the welfare of the company serving them.
    He offers specific strategies for engaging staff even in high turn-over fields. By addressing the social psychology of individuals he shows that both customer service representative and customer can be placed in a mutually sympathetic environment in which the interests of all parties are met without abrasive or demoralizing conflict.  Dr. Davetian's work in this area has led to ground-breaking innovations in major corporations and communications agencies.

  6. GETTING EVERYONE ON THE SAME SIDE. How profit, success and mutual caring can be harmonized in modern institutions.

    Loyalty between employees and their employers is at an all-time low due to outsourcing, global market forces, rapid technological innovations and high corporate mobility. Many corporations and institutions make the  error of thinking that the outcomes of these enormous changes (insecurity, detachment, and the 'me-first' mentality are inevitable. Benet Davetian suggests otherwise. He explains that the modern corporate or institutional employee, regardless of rank, can be made to feel that he/she is the member of a functional, dynamic and care-oriented family, even during tough times. This presentation is particularly geared towards leaders and managers.


    Is setting a good example sufficient theses days for raising children who are competent, motivated and conscientious? How does a parent navigate between demanding work schedules and needy children? At what point does unlimited permissiveness lead to a self-centered child who has trouble dealing with reality? How to achieve a good balance between compassionate parenting and firm guidance? Benet Davetian addresses this most important topic of 21st century societies. Using his extensive experience counselling adults and children who have experienced conflicted family circumstances, he offers original insights on the needs of children and shows how these needs can be harmonized with the needs of parents for a family environment that is free from non-productive conflict. His cutting edge ideas and strategies are also based on his multi-national studies of parenting and families. 

  8. OTHER TOPICS that are connected to Dr. Davetian's expertise

    Developing functional non-violent prison environments; getting students engaged with critical thinking, historical insight and the ability to think of future consequences of social practices; etiquette in a wired world: communicating in cyberspace without causing misunderstanding or offence; friendship: the anatomy of friendship and the manner in mutually-supportive and long-lasting friendships can be built and maintained.

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