Class, Inequality & Oppression

  • How Societies Work, 5th Edition

    Class, Power, and Change

    By Joanne Naiman     March 2012

    In 2011, protesters around the world – including Canada – called for changes to the societies in which they live. Many observers were asking: “What do they want?” Some answers to this question can be found in How Societies Work, a unique and accessible introductory sociology textbook that introduces students to the structure of contemporary societies and the power relationships within them. In contrast to most introductory textbooks, How Societies Work explores a broad range of sociological concepts and theories while simultaneously creating a coherent picture of modern societies. Drawing on fields as diverse as anthropology, genetics, economics, social psychology, history and politics, this innovative and popular text looks at both the roots of modern societies and the current structures within them. This approach helps undergraduate students make sense of our complex social world and encourages them to connect the social world to their own lived experiences.

  • Disability Politics and Theory

    By A.J.  Withers     January 2012

    An accessible introduction to disability studies, Disability Politics and Theory provides a concise survey of disability history, exploring the concept of disability as it has been conceived from the late 19th century to the present. Further, A.J. Withers examines when, how and why new categories of disability are created and describes how capitalism benefits from and enforces disabled people’s oppression. Critiquing the model that currently dominates the discipline, the social model of disability, this book offers an alternative: the radical disability model. This model builds on the social model but draws from more recent schools of radical thought, particularly feminism and critical race theory, to emphasize the role of intersecting oppressions in the marginalization of disabled people and the importance of addressing disability both independently and in conjunction with other oppressions. Intertwining theoretical and historical analysis with personal experience this book is a poignant portrayal of disabled people in Canada and the U.S. – and a radical call for social and economic justice.

  • 21st Century Socialism

    Reinventing the Project

    Edited by Henry Veltmeyer     September 2011

    The growing polarization between the rich and powerful and the poor and powerless, the yawning social and developmental divide and the multidimensional systemic crisis of capitalism have given rise to a fundamental problem of our times: barbarism or socialism? Will we continue on the path of capitalist barbarism or move to a more just socialist system? Bringing together a passionate group of socialists, 21st Century Socialism participates in the emerging and critical debate concerned with reinventing and rebuilding socialism. Revisiting concepts of class and capital, reinventing Marx, problematizing party politics, re-examining alternative forms of socialist politics and learning lessons from Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, 21st Century Socialism explores how socialism needs to be re-imagined to make it relevant to 21st-century.

  • Out of Left Field

    Social Inequality and Sport

    By Gamal Abdel-Shehid and Nathan Kalman-Lamb     September 2011

    High-performance sport, like other social and cultural formations, is a site of social, economic and racial inequalities emerging from larger histories of colonialism and capitalism. In this introductory text, the authors explore the nature of historical and contemporary social inequality in high-performance sport, both globally and locally – understanding high-performance sport as a model that is emulated on other sports fields. In addition, the authors examine the enduring appeal of high-performance sport and its role in the making of identity as well as high-performance sport as a site for resisting the forces of colonialism and capitalism.

  • Community Organizing

    A Holistic Approach

    By Joan Kuyek     August 2011

    “History is full of stories of the oppressed rebelling against the oppressor, only to reinstate an equally oppressive system. What we learn from oppression is how to oppress. If we want a truly transformative politics, then we must take up methods that embody the kind of world we want to create; we have to change deeply embedded beliefs and behaviours.”

  • Broke But Unbroken

    Grassroots Social Movements and Their Radical Solutions to Poverty

    By Augusta Dwyer     May 2011

    In Broke but Unbroken, journalist Augusta Dwyer takes us on an inspiring journey through the slums and villages of Brazil, Indonesia, India and Argentina as she meets with organizers from some of the most successful grassroots social movements struggling against poverty. These organizers are not representatives from NGOs or aid organizations based in developed nations but the poor themselves – people who know intimately the reality of struggling for land, food, housing and the right to control their own resources and means of production. It is these movements, built from the ground up by the very people affected by poverty, that have achieved the most successes in ameliorating the conditions of the poor and providing real solutions to global poverty.

  • Good Places to Live

    Poverty and Public Housing in Canada

    By Jim Silver     February 2011

    Public housing projects are stigmatized and stereotyped as bad places to live, as havens of poverty, illegal activity and violence. In many cities they are being bulldozed, ostensibly for these reasons but also because the land on which they are located has become so valuable. In Good Places to Live, Jim Silver argues that the problems with which it is so often associated are not inherent to public housing but are the result of structural inequalities and neoliberal government policies. This book urges readers to reconsider the fate of public housing, arguing that urban poverty – what Silver calls spatially concentrated racialized poverty – is not solved by razing public housing. On the contrary, public housing projects rebuilt from within, based on communities’ strengths and supported by meaningful public investment could create vibrant and healthy neighbourhoods while maintaining much-needed low-income housing. Considering four public housing projects, in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Winnipeg, Silver contends that public housing projects can be good places to live – if the political will exists.

  • Class Dynamics of Agrarian Change

    By Henry Bernstein     September 2010

    Agrarian political economy investigates the social relations of production and reproduction, property and power in agrarian formations, and how they change. Using Marx’s theory of capitalism the book argues that class dynamics should be the starting point of any analysis of agrarian change.

  • Leaving the Streets

    Stories of Canadian Youth

    By Alexa Carson, Phillip Clement, Katie Crane and Jeff Karabanow     September 2010

    Youth between sixteen and twenty-four are considered the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Canada. While much has been written about street engagement and street culture, little attention has been paid to how youth move away from the street. Giving prominence to the voices of the street youth themselves, Leaving the Streets explores the attempts of street youth to exit street life, examining the motivations and challenges, as well as the supports and barriers that aid and hurt the youth through this process. From shelters and programs to mental health and drug use, this book examines the services that are available, and those that should be available, to help street youth find housing, income and the strength needed to start a new life.

  • My Baby Rides the Short Bus

    The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities

    Edited by Yantra Bertelli, Jennifer Silverman and Sarah Talbot     September 2010

    In lives where there is a new diagnosis or drama every day, the stories in this collection provide parents of “special needs” kids with a welcome chuckle, a rock to stand on, and a moment of reality held far enough from the heart to see clearly. Featuring works by “alternative” parents who have attempted to move away from mainstream thought–or remove its influence altogether–this anthology, taken as a whole, carefully considers the implications of parenting while raising children with disabilities.