Sociology and Anthropology, Department of

Receive updates for this collection

Ghosts and Shadows: A History of Racism in Canada

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-05-17
Abstract: 

A history of racism reinforces discrimination and exploitation of racialized immigrants in general and African-Canadians in particular. My paper contends that historically institutionalized structures are the ideological fulcrum from which ongoing socio-economic inequalities derive and retain their legitimacy. Specifically, I argue that the historically institutionalized system of slavery and ensuing systemic structures of racial discrimination negatively influence the incorporation of racialized immigrants into the Canadian labour market. A historically racially segmented labour market continues to uphold colour coded social and economic hierarchies. Although Canada’s point system ensures that immigrants are primarily selected on the basis of their skills and qualifications, many professionally trained and experienced racialized immigrants endure perpetual socio-economic constraints, characterized primarily by low-end, precarious forms of employment.  While not intended to serve as an exhaustive chronology, this essay draws on three historical periods of Black migration and experience in Canada: the first spans early sixteenth to the end of the eighteenth-century, the second dates from the nineteenth to mid-twentieth century, and the third extends from mid-twentieth century to the present. The following historical timeline traces the prevalence and enduring nature of systemic structures and substantiates Abigail Bakan’s (2008) suggestion that both “racism and a culture of hegemonic whiteness were and remain endemic to the Canadian state” (p. 6).

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Transgender Inclusion and the Changing Face of Lesbian Softball Leagues

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2010-04-01
Abstract: 

This article examines the re-negotiation of sex-based boundaries within the context of transgender/transsexual inclusion in North American lesbian softball leagues. Semi-structured interviews with transgender participants combined with participant observation have been undertaken. We focus on the ‘climate’ (Hall and Sandler, 1982) for transgender participation in lesbian softball leagues that have adopted radical (non sex-binary-based) transinclusive policies. The majority of our research participants report positive experiences of inclusion and our own observations inform us that trans participation has already changed the faces of these leagues to the extent that lesbian identity is being queered: it is shifting away, at least to some degree, from assumed biological commonality to cultural affinity. Positive experiences, however, were more uniformly reported by transgender women than by transmen.A number of transmen, while reporting experiences of inclusion, expressed both personal ambivalence about participating in lesbian sporting and non-sporting spaces and a desire for fuller inclusion in the form of sensitivity and awareness concerning the use of gendered pronouns and categorical invocations. Our study documents cultural processes of sex boundary re-negotiation. As such it builds on previous scholarship (Travers, 2006) that suggests that lesbian softball leagues with non-sex-binary based transinclusive policies may offer a model for queering mainstream sporting spaces away from the socially constructed categories of the two sex system.

Document type: 
Article

Parallel Subaltern Feminist Counterpublics in Cyberspace

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2003-06
Abstract: 

The historically exclusive nature of public spaces and discourses is beyond dispute. While feminist and “other” counterpublics have provided alternative ways of organizing public interaction and dialogue, these have remained largely invisible to nonparticipants. New information technologies afford new possibilities for feminist counterpublics to influence the norms of participation and boundaries between insiders and outsiders in mainstream public spaces. In this article I argue that feminist counterpublics in cyberspace are evidence of a new development in social discourse: the creation of subaltern parallel counterpublics distinguishable from oppositional/separatist counterpublics based, to differing degrees, on identity politics.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

The Sochi Olympics, Celebration Capitalism and Homonationalist Pride

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016-12-31
Abstract: 

In July 2013 the Russian government passed two anti-LGBT laws that drew international criticism. Russia’s impending hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games inspired more sustained international attention to these laws than might have otherwise been the case. In this article, we apply the mutually supporting frameworks of queer/trans necropolitics and celebration capitalism to a content analysis of coverage of the Sochi Olympics in the Advocate and Xtra, the leading LGBT publications in the United States and Canada respectively. We contend that the Advocate and Xtra participated in a homonationalist process of manufacturing consent as the USA, Canada, the West in general and the Olympic Games were glorified while issues relating to racism and colonialism in Russia, the USA and Canada were ignored and these geopolitical formations in general were falsely generalized as safe havens for LGBT people. This conclusion is based on two key observations. First, we noted complete silence about racist and ethnic violence in Russia and in the specific site of Sochi in the Advocate and only one (unelaborated) acknowledgement of Sochi as a historical site of ethnic cleansing in Xtra. Second, in spite of the recent expansion of formal citizenship rights for LGBT people, more uniformly in Canada than in the USA, Advocate and Xtra coverage failed to acknowledge the dissonance between American and Canadian governments positioning themselves as LGBT and human rights leaders and the harm these National Security States continue to deliver to racialized, impoverished and gender and sexual minority populations. 

Document type: 
Article

The Sport Nexus and Gender Injustice

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

Male-dominated and sex segregated elite professional and amateur sport in North America constitutes a "sport nexus" (Burstyn, 1999; Heywood & Dworkin, 2003) that combines economic and cultural influence to reinforce and perpetuate gender injustice. The sport nexus is an androcentric sex-segregated commercially powerful set of institutions that is highly visible and at the same time almost completely taken for granted to the extent that its anti-democratic impetus goes virtually unnoticed. The sport nexus's hegemonic role in defining sporting norms (Coakley & Donnelly, 2004) means that its role in shaping lower level amateur and recreational sporting institutions and cultures is highly significant. Fraser (2007) defines gender justice, and hence democracy, in terms of "participatory parity," that is, material and cultural equality for women. The sport nexus itself is characterized by highly gendered occupational segregation (Coventry, 2004). It further contributes to gender injustice, homophobia and transphob a by promoting the ideology of the two sex system (Fausto-Sterling, 2000) and gendering citizenship as fundamentally male (Burstyn, 1999). Feminist strategies for sport reformation attempt to reduce or eradicate the role of the sport nexus in legitimating and perpetuating gender injustice. In this article I consider the potential of these strategies and conclude with a set of recommendations for transforming organized sport at both elite and recreational levels.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

Thinking the unthinkable: Imagining an ‘un-American,’ Girl-friendly, Women- and Trans-Inclusive Alternative for Baseball

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012
Abstract: 

The purpose of this article is twofold: to capture the injustice inherent in the gendered bifurcation of baseball and softball via the prism of critical feminist sport studies; and to begin to imagine a girl-friendly/women-and trans-inclusive future for baseball that is less fertile for cooptation into post-911 United States security state discourses. In this article I link the "unthinkability" of the occupational segregation of baseball in North America to the dominance of the ideology of the two sex system and European disasporic morality. To illustrate the extent of this occupational segregation via the gendered bifurcation of baseball and softball, I draw on feminist sport studies to examine the exemplars or "texts" of three Canadian brother/sister baseball softball duos: Jason Bay and Lauren Bay Regula; Brett and Danielle Lawrie; and Mathew and Katie Reyes.

Document type: 
Article
File(s): 

On Becoming "White" Through Ethnographic Fieldwork in Ghana: Are ideas imperial by course?

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2016
Abstract: 

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Ghana, and the growing number of studies on “sanism” (or psychiatric oppression), this paper revisits outstanding methodological concerns around privilege and power, body and space, language and the liminality of social categories, as a platform to reconsider the insider/outsider debate. It ponders openly, and hopefully collectively, the implications of expanding research interests, so, too, the very circulation of ideas, against what the author is analytically describing as the experience of becoming “White.” The article focuses on questions that fieldwork exposed about researcher identity and “belonging,” not least the risk of essentialism. In effect, it seeks to demonstrate the ethical and epistemological dilemmas that arise from giving account, toward a more sensitive way in academia, relationship building, and solidarity work—where, when, how, or whether, critical ethnography can relinquish, reimagine, or altogether transform its dialectical tensions without undermining ends of resistance?

Document type: 
Article

“Mad” Activism and its (Ghanaian?) Future: A Prolegomena to Debate

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013
Abstract: 

This paper explores how scholars continuing within, or expanding on, Goffmanian tradition have, to varying degrees, given grit to the praxis and study of (new?) social movements today. Particular emphasis is put on the politics of madness, including the writings of anti-psychiatrists, as well as the recent emergence of Mad Pride, and how these might relate to human rights advocacy projects in Ghana. The discussion draws on semi-structured and qualitative interviews with “mad” activists, and is interspersed with personal anecdotes as an effort to map the author’s sinuous – yet continuous – path to an “engaged sociology.”

Document type: 
Article

ID Politics: The Violence of Modernity

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-04-16
Abstract: 

Scholarship in feminism, anticolonialism, Disability and Mad studies, have repositioned storytelling as instructive to the present and to the ethics of care. Emplotted with time and space, like the acts and lives of others, stories make discernible those everyday encounters, sites of practices, and material conditions that usher power and pain. They destabilize essentialism, so, too, the asymmetries that ensue, and are therefore pivotal in the politics toward self-definition. It has even been argued that the concept of the story garners much of the attention once assigned to that of identity. But here, I juxtapose, I entwine, no, I exbody competing multivalent social scripts, each a verse in itself, to nuance—albeit creatively—the story in this current age of governmentality and concomitant surveillance technologies. Paying homage to Patricia Hill Collins, I evoke intersectionality and endeavour to bring us back to identity politics … analytically.

Document type: 
Article

Family Members' Perceptions Of End-Of-Life Care Across Diverse Locations Of Care

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013
Abstract: 

Background

The goal of the study was to assess perceived level of satisfaction with end-of-life care, focusing on the last 48 hours of life.

Methods

A previously validated instrument was used in a telephone survey with bereaved family members (n=90) of patients who died within an organization in British Columbia.

Results

Bereaved family members had many unmet needs for information about the patient’s changing condition, the process of dying, how symptoms would be managed and what to do at the time of death. In addition, many bereaved relatives felt that the patient or resident had an unmet need for emotional support and that their own emotional needs were not addressed adequately. The last place of care had the most significant effect on all of these variables, with acute care and residential care having the most unmet needs. Hospice had the fewest unmet needs, followed by the palliative and the intensive care units.

Conclusions

We discuss these findings in relation to overall satisfaction with care, focus on individual, ethno-cultural and diversity issues, information and decision-making, symptom management and attending to the family. We conclude by offering possible practices address the end-of-life needs of patients and family members.

Document type: 
Article
File(s):