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New and Recent in Sociology
How Violence Persists in Settler Colonial Society

In 2004, Amnesty International characterized Canadian society as “indifferent” to high rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls. When the Canadian government took another twelve years to launch a national inquiry, that indictment seemed true. Invested Indifference offers a divergent perspective by examining practices during three different periods in the place we now call Edmonton, juxtaposing early settler texts, documents concerning the former Charles Camsell Indian Hospital, and contemporary online police materials. Kara Granzow reaches a startling conclusion: that what we see as societal indifference doesn’t come from an absence of feeling but from a deep-rooted and affective investment in framing specific lives as disposable. Granzow demonstrates that through mechanisms such as the law, medicine, and control of land and space, violence against Indigenous peoples has become symbolically and politically ensconced in the social construction of Canadian nationhood.

Invested Indifference exposes the tenacity of violence against Indigenous people, arguing that some lives are made to matter – or not – depending on their relation to the settler-colonial nation state.

Infant Food Insecurity in a Rich Nation

“Did you ever go to bed and wonder if your child was getting enough to eat?” For food insecure mothers, the worry is constant, and babies are at risk of going hungry. Through compelling interviews, Lesley Frank answers the breastfeeding paradox: why women who can least afford to buy infant formula are less likely to breastfeed. She reveals that what and how infants are fed is linked to the social and economic status of those who feed them. She exposes the reality of food insecurity for formula-fed babies, the constraints limiting mothers’ ability to breastfeed, and the lengths to which mothers must go to provide for their children. In a country that leaves the problem of food insecurity to charities, public policies are failing to support the most vulnerable populations.Out of Milk calls out the pressing need to establish the economic and social conditions necessary for successful breastfeeding and for accessible and safe formula feeding for families everywhere.

Out of Milk reveals the experiences of mothers struggling to feed their children and the policy gaps that put babies at risk of going hungry in a high-income nation.

As the global population ages, disability demographics are shifting. Societal transformation and global health inequities have changed who is likely to reach old age, who is likely to live with disability, and the relationship between aging and disability in various socio-cultural and geopolitical contexts.The Aging–Disability Nexus breaks new ground by bringing gerontology and disability studies into dialogue with each other through a variety of empirical, conceptual, and pedagogical approaches. Contributors explore the tensions that shape the way disability and aging are understood, experienced, and responded to at both individual and systemic levels, while avoiding the common tendency to conflate these overlapping elements and map them onto a normative, faulty notion of the human life trajectory. This perceptive work analyzes the distinction between aging with a disability and aging into disability, and reveals how multiple identities, socio-economic forces, culture, and community give form to our experiences.

The Aging–Disability Nexus explores the complex and competing narratives we create about aging and disability, providing fresh perspectives on how these markers interact with each other and with other indicators of power and difference.

Social and Spatial Polarization in Canadian Cities

In recent decades growing inequality and polarization have been reshaping the social landscape of Canada’s metropolitan areas, changing neighbourhoods and negatively affecting the lived realities of increasingly diverse urban populations. This book examines the dimensions and impacts of increased economic inequality and urban socio-spatial polarization since the 1980s. Based on the work of the Neighbourhood Change Research Partnership, an innovative national comparative study of seven major cities, the authors reveal the dynamics of neighbourhood change across the Canadian urban system. By mapping average income trends across neighbourhoods, they show the kinds of factors – social, economic, and cultural – that influenced residential options and redistributed concentrations of poverty and affluence. While the heart of the book lies in the project’s findings from each city, other chapters provide critical context. Taken together, they offer important understandings of the depth and the breadth of the problem at hand and signal the urgency for concerted policy responses in the decades to come.

Changing Neighbourhoods offers revealing insights into the way that Canadian cities have grown increasingly unequal and polarized since 1980, identifying the causal factors driving neighbourhood change and their troubling implications.

Explaining Electoral Participation

Elections are at the heart of our democracy. Understanding citizens’ decisions to vote or to abstain in elections is crucial, especially when turnout in so many democracies is declining.In The Motivation to Vote, André Blais and Jean-François Daoust provide an original and elegant model that explains why people vote. They argue that the decision to vote or abstain hinges on four factors: political interest, sense of civic duty, perceived importance of the election, and ease of voting. Their findings are strongly supported by empirical evidence from elections in five countries.The authors also test alternative explanations of voter turnout by looking at contextual factors and the role of habit, but find little evidence to support these hypotheses. This analysis is compelling and further demonstrates the power of their model to provide a provocative and parsimonious explanation of voter turnout in elections.

An original, parsimonious, and elegant explanation of why we vote or abstain in elections.

Financial Pressures, Emotional Labour, and Canadian Bankruptcy Law

Mortgages, student loans, credit cards: debt is a ubiquitous component of daily life in Canada. But our attitudes toward debt, and the people who incur it, are complex. Trustees at Work explores the role bankruptcy trustees play in determining who qualifies as a deserving debtor under Canadian personal bankruptcy law. When debt becomes unmanageable, the bankruptcy and insolvency system provides relief – though not to everyone. The architects of the system have restricted access to this benefit by developing methods to distinguish deserving from undeserving debtors. The idea of a deserving debtor is woven throughout bankruptcy law, with debt relief being reserved for those debtors deemed deserving. The legislation and case law invite trustees to assess debtors based on their pre-bankruptcy choices, but in practice, trustees evaluate debtors based on how cooperative the debtors are during bankruptcy proceedings. Using insights from the sociology of emotion, Anna Jane Samis Lund reveals how carrying out emotional labour shapes an insolvency professional’s assessments of a debtor’s deservingness. Trustees at Work also includes interviews and statistical data to explain how the financial and emotional pressures of trustees’ work shape their decision-making process. Ultimately, it shows how insolvency trustees’ conceptions of a deserving debtor are shaped by the financial, legal, and emotional contexts in which they work.

Trustees at Work explores what is means to be considered a deserving debtor in under contemporary Canadian personal bankruptcy law.

Crises in the History of a Profession

Medical professionals are expected to act in the interest of patients, the public, and the pursuit of medical knowledge. Their disinterested stance gives them credibility and authority. But what happens when doctors’ supposed impartiality comes under fire? In Medicine and Morality, Helen Kang examines three moments in the history of the medical profession in Canada, spanning more than 150 years, when doctors’ moral and scientific authority was questioned. She shows that, in these moments of crisis, the profession was compelled to re-examine its priorities, strategize in order to regain credibility, and redefine what it means to be a good doctor.Medicine and Morality reveals that professional medicine defines integrity, objectivity, accountability, neutrality, and other ideals according to its social, political, historical, and economic struggles with the state, the media, and even the public. In other words, moral and scientific standards in medicine are determined in direct relation to, not in spite of, conflict of interest.

The first historical study of morality and science in Canadian medicine, Medicine and Morality shows how moments of doubt in doctors’ impartiality resulted in changes to how medicine was done, and even to the very definition of medical practice itself.

LGBTQ People and Electoral Politics in Canada
Edited by Manon Tremblay

Political representation matters. And representation requires participation: voting, joining political parties, running as candidates, acting as politicians. Yet the election of openly LGBTQ people is a relatively recent phenomenon in the West.Queering Representation explores long-ignored issues relating to LGBTQ voters and politicians in Canada. What are the LGBTQ electorate’s characteristics and voting behaviours, and what empowerment has it achieved through electoral systems? How do straight voters view out LGBTQ politicians, and what part do the media play in framing these perceptions? What pathways to power do LGBTQ politicians follow? Do they represent LGBTQ people and communities in particular, and, if so, how is this role articulated? And finally, how do Canadian party ideologies shape LGBTQ representation?The contributors to Queering Representation address these questions by offering diverse, nuanced readings of political representation, shining a spotlight on relations between electoral processes and LGBTQ communities.

Queering Representation explores what happens when LGBTQ people move out of the closet and into the political arena.

Neoliberalism is most commonly associated with free trade, the minimal state, and competitive individualism. But in this latest stage of capitalism, it is not simply national economies that are being neoliberalized – it is us. Inspired by Michel Foucault and other governmentality theorists, the contributors to this volume reveal how neoliberalism’s power to redefine “normal” is refashioning every facet of our lives, from our consumer choices and approaches to the environment – whether it be buying yoga pants or a hybrid car – to larger questions of national security and border control. By providing enlightening examples and case studies of neoliberalism in action, this thought-provoking volume not only reveals how we are being constituted as biopolitical and neoliberal subjects, it encourages us to think of the world as more than a marketplace and to open ourselves up to the possibilities of resistance.

This accessible but theoretically sophisticated volume reveals how neoliberalism – as both an economic project and a broader political approach – has come to govern our daily lives, our understanding of the world we live in, and even how we think about ourselves.

Youth Culture, the New Left, and the Reimagining of Acadia

The 1960s were a victorious decade for francophones in New Brunswick, who witnessed the election of the first Acadian premier and the opening of a French-language university. But in 1968, students took to the streets of Moncton, demanding further concessions. What provoked these students to spark a cultural revolution on par with those overtaking English Canada and Quebec? Were they simply heirs to a long line of nationalists seeking more rights for francophones, as older histories suggest, or were they leftists whose demands echoed the ideas of student movements in Quebec, English Canada, the United States, and France?Belliveau argues that the student movement emerged in the late 1950s as an expression of the province’s changing youth culture but then evolved as students drew inspiration from the ideas of the New Left, shifting allegiance from liberalism to radical communitarianism and ultimately fuelling the fires of a new brand of Acadian nationalism in the 1970s.

In the Spirit of ’68 tells the story of how a unique blend of local circumstance and global influence transformed Acadian New Brunswick’s youth culture, spawning one of the most influential revolutionary student movements in Canada.

A Critical Sociology of Evidence-Based Medicine

Once considered revolutionary, evidence-based medicine (EBM) has failed. The Impossible Clinic explores the conundrum of EBM’s attempt to translate evidence from medical research into recommendations for practice. Ironically, when medical institutions combine disciplinary regulations with EBM to produce clinical practice guidelines, the outcomes are antithetical to the aim. Such guidelines fail to increase individual physicians’ decision-making capacities – as EBM promises – because they externalize judgment through disciplinary control. Ariane Hanemaayer uses a critical sociology approach to argue that EBM persists because it has congealed within the dominant liberal political strategy of governance, which seeks to improve health care “at a distance,” at the least cost, and without investment in infrastructure. As such, The Impossible Clinic is the first book to interrogate the history, practice, and pitfalls of EBM and explain how it persists due to intersecting relationships between professional medical regulation and liberal governance strategies.

The aims of evidence-based medicine cannot be reconciled with its outcomes, yet this impossible practice persists at the intersection of professional medical regulation and liberal governance strategies.

A Memoir of Sisters, Disability, and Difference

Victoria Freeman was only four when her parents followed medical advice and sent her sister away to a distant, overcrowded institution. Martha was not yet two, but in 1960s Ontario there was little community acceptance or support for raising children with intellectual disabilities at home. In this frank and moving memoir, Victoria describes growing up in a world that excluded and dehumanized her sister. She writes too of her own journey to understand the policies and assumptions about disability that profoundly affected her entire family. Despite society’s long insistence that that only a “normal” life was worth living, changing attitudes to both disability and difference would eventually offer both sisters new possibilities for healing and self-discovery. A World Without Martha documents the collateral damage of institutionalization on families, as well as the ties, both traumatic and loving, that bind family members to one another over the course of a lifetime.

A World without Martha is an unflinching yet compassionate memoir of how one sister’s institutionalization for intellectual disability in the 1960s affected the other, sending them both on separate but parallel journeys shaped initially by society’s inability to accept difference and later by changing attitudes towards disability, identity, and inclusion.

Canada’s Indian Act is infamously sexist. Through many iterations of the legislation a woman’s status rights flowed from her husband, and even once it was amended to reinstate rights lost through marriage or widowhood, First Nations women could not necessarily pass status on to their descendants. That injustice has rightly been subject to much scrutiny, but what has it meant for First Nations men? Martin J. Cannon challenges the decades-long assumption of case law and politics that the act has affected Indigenous people as either “women” or “Indians” – but not both. He argues that sexism and racialization within the law must instead be understood as interlocking forms of discrimination that have also undercut the identities of Indigenous men through their female forebears. By restorying historically patriarchal legislation and Indigenous masculinity, Men, Masculinity, and the Indian Act makes a significant contribution to a transformative discussion of Indigenous nationhood, citizenship, and reconciliation.

Men, Masculinity, and the Indian Act reverses conventional thinking to argue that the sexism directed at women within the act in fact undermines the well-being of all Indigenous people, proposing that Indigenous nationhood cannot be realized or reinvigorated until this broader injustice is understood.

Race, Ethnicity, and Affinity Voting

The electoral behaviour of racialized voters and politicians has captured little attention outside the United States. Identities and Interests offers a new perspective on the role of racial and ethnic identities in Canadian elections. Combining survey data experiments with candidate and census data, Randy Besco demonstrates that self-identification matters far more than self-interest, ideology, or policy. The largest minority groups – Chinese and South Asian Canadians – tend to support candidates of their own ethnicity. Yet inter-minority affinity voting also reveals the potential for “rainbow coalitions” and how minorities themselves think in terms of a white/non-white divide. Besco distinguishes pure in-group bias from the positive effects stemming from affinity voting and calls for a more nuanced evaluation of the role of identity in politics. Overall, his findings have major implications for social movements, issue opinions, fundraising, and political leadership races. Identities and Interests gets to the heart of our understanding of democracy and citizenship.

Identities and Interests examines the electoral behaviour of racialized Canadians: how they self-identify, why they support minority candidates, and what these patterns mean for Canadian politics.

Religion and National Identity in Québec

In the past two decades, Québec has been racked by a series of controversies in which the religiosity of migrants and other minorities has been represented as a threat to the province’s once staunchly Catholic, and now resolutely secular, identity. In Moments of Crisis, Ian Morrison locates these controversies and debates within a long history of crises within – and transformations of – Québécois identity, from the Conquest of New France in 1760 to contemporary times. He argues that national identity, like all identities, is unstable and prone to moments of crisis. It is in these moments that the nation is articulated and rearticulated, reinforced, and ultimately reproduced. Morrison also argues that, rather than seeking to overcome current controversies by reconsolidating national identity, Québec should look on moments of crisis as opportunities to forge alternative conceptions of community, identity, and belonging.

Wide-ranging and theoretically sophisticated, Moments of Crisis offers a groundbreaking explanation for why religion continues to be implicated in national identity crises in Québec.

Interdisciplinary Insights
Edited by David Laycock

Liberalism, conservatism, populism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, agrarianism, labour pragmatism, socialism, and myriad other isms. Ideology is a ubiquitous, continuously innovating dimension of human experience, but its character and impact are notoriously difficult to pinpoint within political and social life. Political Ideology in Parties, Policy, and Civil Society demonstrates that the reach and significance of political ideology is best understood through a multidisciplinary approach. Contributors to this volume explore a broad territory from multiple perspectives: the influence of English country party ideology on late-eighteenth-century American political thought; multiculturalism, populism, and environmentalism in Canada; the ideological underpinnings of Canadian development assistance policy; contemporary efforts to shape working-class and farmer ideologies in western Canada; and the interweaving of academic theory and ideology in game theory. This stimulating volume offers empirical interpretations that break new ground, and demonstrates the strength of interdisciplinary approaches to the study of political ideology.

This important study demonstrates that varied disciplinary approaches can illuminate the reach and impact of political ideologies on both politics and society.

Guy Debord, Radical Democracy, and the Digital Age

Spectacle is usually considered a superficial form of politics, which tries to distract and deceive a passive audience. It is difficult to see how this type of politics could be reconciled with the democratic requirement of active and informed agency. Rethinking the Spectacle re-examines the tension between spectacle and political agency in our hyper-mediated digital society. Devin Penner uses the theories and practices of Guy Debord and the Situationist International as a point of departure, offering both a critical review of Situationist ideas and a way to develop their radical democratic potential in the current political climate. Emphasizing the importance of thinking about the connection between spectacle and broader democratic processes, Rethinking the Spectacle also looks at various models of social and political organization and includes an in-depth assessment of the 2011 Occupy movement. Ultimately, Rethinking the Spectacle concludes that properly conceived spectacle can in fact mobilize the public for egalitarian purposes.

Drawing on radical democratic theory and the ideas of political theorist Guy Debord, Rethinking the Spectacle examines the tension between spectacles and political agency in our digital society.

Contributions from Critical Social Science

Almost four decades after the scientific discovery of HIV/AIDS, the world continues to grapple with this public health challenge. A successful response requires thinking differently about the epidemic, but what type of thinking can facilitate effective change? Thinking Differently about HIV/AIDS explores the limits of mainstream approaches to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and challenges readers to develop alternate solutions, placing particular emphasis on the value of critical social science perspectives. The contributors investigate traditions of inquiry – governmentality studies, institutional ethnography, Indigenous knowledges, conversation analysis, actor-network theory, critical ethnography, and others – to determine what these perspectives can bring to HIV/AIDS research, policy, and prevention programming. Engaging with various knowledge frameworks, they examine the criminalization of HIV, epidemiological and media constructions of the epidemic, HIV non-disclosure, treatment adherence, and other topics. This book is the first Canadian anthology of critical social science perspectives on HIV/AIDS, demonstrating how and why critical social science is necessary for rethinking research and action required to address the epidemic.

Almost four decades after the discovery of HIV/AIDS, Thinking Differently about HIV/AIDS: Contributions from Critical Social Science demonstrates the essential role of critical social science in helping us understand the complexity of the epidemic and develop appropriate solutions.

British Family Correspondence and the Settler Colonial Everyday in British Columbia

In the context of surging interests in reconciliation and decolonization, settler colonialism increasingly occupies political, public, and academic conversations. Nothing to Write Home About is a detailed study of the settler colonial significance of British family correspondence sent between the United Kingdom and British Columbia between 1858 and 1914. Drawing on thousands of letters written by dozens of correspondents, it offers insights into epistolary topics including trans-imperial family intimacy and conflict, settlers’ everyday concerns such as boredom and food, and the importance of what correspondents chose not to write about. Analyzing both the letters’ content and their conspicuous, loaded silences, Laura Ishiguro traces how Britons used the post to navigate the family separations integral to their migration and to understand British Columbia as an uncontested settler home. This book argues that these letters and their writers played a critical role in laying the foundations of a powerful, personal settler colonial order that continues to structure the province today.

The first substantial study of family correspondence and settler colonialism, Nothing to Write Home About elucidates the significance of trans-imperial intimacy, epistolary silence, and the everyday in laying the foundations of settler colonialism in British Columbia.

Migration and Integration in Canada
Edited by Harald Bauder

When migrants reach their new home, we often interpret their settlement and integration as an individual process driven largely by the labour market. But family plays a crucial role.Putting Family First is the fruit of a four-year academic–community partnership to investigate the experience of immigrant families settling in Greater Toronto. Contributors explore the integration trajectory of immigrant families, from newcomers’ initial reception to their deep involvement in and attachment to their receiving society. Chapters examine the interrelated themes of the policy environment, children and youth, gender, labour markets and work, and community supports, making insightful connections between concepts such as neoliberalism, resilience, and social capital.Putting Family First applies rigorous academic research to solve practical problems, illustrating how the family context can be mobilized to facilitate the successful integration of newcomers and offering important guidance to practitioners and policy makers in Canada and beyond.

Putting Family First challenges the conventional view of settlement and integration as an individual process driven largely by the labour market, placing the family at the centre of the successful immigrant experience.

Stories of Incarceration and Resistance from Canada’s Most Notorious Prison

Bridget Donnelly. Charlotte Reveille. Kate Slattery. Emily Boyle. Until now, these were nothing but names marked down in the admittance registers and punishment reports of Kingston Penitentiary, Canada’s most notorious prison. In this shocking and heartbreaking book, Ted McCoy tell these women’s stories of incarceration and resistance in poignant detail. The four women served sentences at different times between 1835 and 1935, but they shared experiences that illuminate how those most marginalized in society – the poor, the sick, and the disadvantaged – reckoned with poverty and crime and grappled with the constraints placed on them by shifting notions of punishment and reform.The inhumanity they suffered while locked away from male prisoners in dark basement wards – from starvation and corporal punishment to sexual abuse and neglect – stands as profoundly disturbing evidence of the hidden costs of isolation, punishment, and mass incarceration.

Filled with stories of pain, regret, and resistance, this chilling account of how four women survived their time at Kingston Penitentiary stands as an indictment of the idea that prisons and punishment are society’s answer to crime.

Urban Governance, Law, and Condoization in New York City and Toronto

When condominiums first emerged in North American cities in the 1960s, they were a new kind of housing governed by boards of resident owners volunteering in a community. Condo Conquest shows how the condo and its inner governance have since become something else entirely, taken over – or conquered – by an assemblage of firms specializing in condo law, real estate, security, and property management, as well as growing numbers of non-resident investors who purchase condo units as commodities.Drawing on the accounts of residents and board directors in Toronto and New York and myriad other sources, Randy Lippert takes a close look at the inner workings of condoization. He shows how condo governance increasingly involves a complex set of legal, social, and spatial relationships among various elements assembled together, including commercial agents, forms of knowledge, and technologies. The first major study of condominium governance in North America, Condo Conquest questions assumptions about the condo and its governance. By illuminating the complex set of agents, processes, and forms of knowledge that have taken over the condo world, Lippert discerns a number of troubling trends that imperil the condo’s future and undermine the integrity of urban communities.

This eye-opening study shows how the condo, developed to meet the needs of a community of owners in cities in the 1960s, has been conquered by commercial interests.

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