Life at the Intersection

Community, Class and Schooling

By Carl E. James  

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The intersection of Jane and Finch in Toronto’s north end has long been portrayed as one of Canada’s most troubled neighbourhoods, with images of social dysfunction, shootings and “at risk” youth dominating media accounts. Setting out to discover what it means – and what it takes – to grow up in this economically disadvantaged and racially and ethnically diverse neighbourhood, Life at the Intersection engages young people, parents and educators to explore the experiences, issues, perceptions and ambitions of the youth of this community. What Carl James finds is that young people have come to appreciate the social capital and cultural wealth of their neighbourhood and that they use the negative perceptions of their community as inspiration for educational and social success. Understanding education as key to encouraging youth to persevere, endure and succeed, this book focuses on youth’s educational experiences and expectations and argues that schooling programs must consider socio-geographic context in their efforts to be socially and culturally relevant.

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  • Preface
  • Community, Stigmatization and Opportunities
  • Jane-Finch: A Profile
  • Schools, Educational Programs and Community
  • Relying on Education: Community, Schooling and Education Ambitions
  • Anatomy of a School Shooting
  • Beyond the Intersection: Toward a Community-Centred Approach to Schooling
  • References


  • Carl E. James

    York University

    CARL E. JAMES is the Director of the York Centre for Education and Community. He also teaches in the Faculty of Education and in the graduate programs in sociology and social work.

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