2023 Award Recipients
Click on the award to meet the recipients!
Dr. Rosemary Ricciardelli
Dr. Ronjon Paul Datta and Dr. Reza Nakhaie
Dr. Maude Pugliese and Dr. Hélène Belleau
Dr. Saara Liinamaa
Dr. Laura Bisaillon
Dr. Tony Silva
Dr. Cary Wu
Dr. Stéphanie Garneau
Dr. Katherine Lyon
Dr. Xiaobei Chen
Dr. Cora Voyageur
Dr. Mélissa Blais
Dr. Rosemary Ricciardelli, Memorial University
Dr. Ricciardelli is currently a Research Chair in Safety, Security and Wellness in the School of Maritime Studies at the Fisheries and Marine Institute at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She also is currently the Vice-Chair of the Academic, Research, Clinician and Network Advisory Committee for the Canadian Institute of Public Safety Research and Treatment. She is the only Canadian scholar that has worked with Correctional services in every province and served as a consultant to the Gender Secretariat of Correctional Services Canada.
Her work has had a fundamental impact on the development for Correctional Service Canada as well as for other public safety organizations. Her work has helped shape mental health training, identify curriculum gaps, and inform policies as well as bringing to the forefront the mental health and wellness of employees. She has a much-earned reputation within the public safety community as a researcher with a clear mission to improve the lives of personnel working in the field of safety. Dr. Ricciardelli’s work has strived to away the stigma associated with having a mental health need and intervention seeking.
While Dr. Ricciardelli continues to work in the field of correctional work, she also continues to impact the academy community through her publications in Sociology nationally and internationally. Dr. Ricciardelli is a leading scholar in the field of public safety, punishment and gender. She has published 12 books, more than 200 journal articles, 50 book chapters and countless professional presentations in Canada and around the world. As an academic, she has supervised 25 Master Students, 14 Doctoral students and 12 Postdoctoral Fellows; involving them in all aspects of her research and training them for future partnered work with agencies of public safety.
Chetna Khandelwal, University of Calgary
The 2023 recipient was endorsed by Dr. Fiona Nelson as Head & Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary.
Chetna is a first-year student in the University of Calgary's PhD program, having completed her MA this past year. Chetna is an outstanding young scholar who has clearly demonstrated her commitment to applying her sociological training and research to the betterment of communities. As mentioned in the nomination letter by her supervisor, Dr. Pallavi Banerjee, “Chetna’s work as an activist, volunteer, and an academic over the last 7 years has been oriented toward positive social change for marginalised groups in transnational contexts.” Chetna’s own research agenda, her paid academic employment, and her volunteer commitments, are all informed and driven by her commitment to using her sociological training for the benefit of disadvantaged and marginalised populations. Chetna has also been awarded a prestigious Killam Award which recognizes the very high caliber of her academic work.
Catharina O'Donnell, Harvard University
Calling to Action: How right-leaning and left-leaning contemporary American social movement organizations mobilize their members differently
Historically, a core task of Social Movement Organizations (SMOs) was mobilizing members to participate in contentious collective action. But today’s highly professionalized SMOs engage directly with policymakers, and grassroots protest is rare. What, if anything, do contemporary SMOs mobilize their members to do? I conduct a computational text analysis of 13,459 mass emails sent from 30 American social movement organizations to their member mailing lists from 2018 to 2022. I find that, despite the high level of professionalization and institutionalization of the organizations in my sample, the majority of email content pertains to a request for specific action from the reader. While all movements issue calls to action, left-leaning organizations issue urgent calls that take for granted a reader’s ideological understanding and commitment to the movement, such as contacting a political representative. Right-leaning organizations ask readers to complete actions that build ideology and commitment to the movement, such as listening to a podcast episode that explains an issue. Hence right-leaning movement organizations use communications with members to build collective identity, while left-leaning organizations use their members to complete short-term tasks that take collective identity for granted. These findings suggest that right-leaning movements do not simply mirror the left-leaning movements they oppose, offering important implications for the trajectories of American political power on the right and left.
The adjudication committee noted that this paper offers an impressive engagement with select American right-wing and left-wing social movement organizations (SMOs). It offers critical insight into what contemporary SMOs mobilize their members to do and finds important divergence between right-wing and left-wing SMOs. The paper finds that while left-wing SMOs focus on short-term tasks, their right-wing counterparts focus on building and consolidating collective identity. The paper is original and makes crucial contributions to the literature.
Firdaous Sbaï, University of Toronto
Racial disproportionality in incarceration: measuring the legacy of racial history
Some canonical works explaining the over-representation of Black Americans in the carceral system have emphasized their unique history with slavery. This paper explores this legacy by investigating both the presence of comparable levels of disproportional imprisonment in Canada, and the relationship between racial history and contemporary imprisonment. I compare the disproportional incarceration of seven ethno-racial groups across all American and Canadian jurisdictions (states, provinces, territories). After finding equivalent levels of disproportionality in both countries, I seek to evaluate the weight of a broader legacy of racial repression as a predictor for this disproportionality. Using a mixed-methods approach, I first conducted comparative-historical research to generate an ordinal variable for this legacy – combining archival data on slavery, legal segregation, and de jure voting restrictions – to capture the extent of formal barriers to equal citizenship for each group-jurisdiction in the sample. I then present regression models to test the effect of this legacy on contemporary imprisonment in contrast with other prominent explanations. I find that histories of racial repression robustly predict higher disproportional imprisonment for groups, with no systemic difference between the two countries.
The adjudication committee noted that this paper deploys a rigorous and refreshing mixed methodological approach. The paper offers highly textured analyses regarding the disproportional incarceration of minorities in Canada and the United States. It underscores the salience of history of racial oppression in predicting higher disproportional incarceration rates of various groups. Overall, this paper challenges conventional thinking about differences between Canada and the United States vis-à-vis incarceration of minorities. The paper is original and makes crucial contributions to the literature.
Dr. Ronjon Paul Datta, University of Windsor and Dr. Reza Nakhaie, University of Windsor
Suicidal ideation and social integration in three Canadian provinces: The importance of social support and community belonging. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie Vol. 59, no. S1 (2022): 74-97.
Mental health and wellbeing issues - particular suicide and suicidal ideation – became especially prominent during the recent pandemic. This article makes a significant contribution to these fields of study. It offers nuanced operationalization and application of two variables/concepts often conflated with each other - a sense of belonging and social integration. Datta and Nakhaie have produced an impressive analysis that will be accessible to quantitative and qualitative scholars alike. This study also incorporates the work of related theorists and scholars such as Robert Putnam and Émile Durkheim, which underscores the wider application of the theoretical and substantive implications of the article. The committee was especially impressed by the theoretical foundations of this study as well as its potential to appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience. It succeeds in reinforcing the value of sociological scholarship and sociology as a discipline by drawing from foundations, applied to contemporary social problems.
Dr. Maude Pugliese, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) and Dr. Hélène Belleau, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)
Mine, yours, ours, or no one's? Homeownership arrangements among cohabiting and married couples. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue canadienne de sociologie Vol. 59, no. S1 (2022): 48-73.
Pugliese and Belleau’s study is impressive in both methodology and the findings it presents on the dynamics of homeownership arrangements among couples. It offers an important contribution to the scholarship, which suffers from a dearth of studies on wealth and asset division among couples. Home ownership is one of the primary ways that Canadians hold and accumulate wealth while simultaneously providing shelter. Pugliese and Belleau ask how different-sex couples divide ownership. Drawing on a unique survey of Quebec couples, the authors evaluate whether couples own their homes together or separately, and how relationship trust characteristics, gender, and relative income impact who owns the home. Among other contributions, this study challenges many presumptions that scholars might incorporate into their scholarship and teaching about the gendered dynamics of home ownership. A key finding is that any uneven division of labour impacts who owns the house, and that equal income leads to joint ownership. It contributes critical knowledge on wealth in Canada, how couples manage wealth, and the implications of both for inequality across gender and conjugal characteristics.
Dr. Saara Liinamaa, University of Guelph
The New Spirit of Creativity: Work, Compromise, and the Art and Design University. University of Toronto Press, 2022
As a major contribution to advancing cultural sociology in and of Canada, The New Spirit of Creativity unpacks the everyday work, organization, and administration of creativity in Canadian cultural institutions. Based on fieldwork at three Canadian art and design universities, Liinamaa examines how creativity operates as a malleable institutional value in these institutions. With a focus on the intertwining of the fraught landscapes of contemporary higher education and creative work, Liinamaa traces how “the new spirit” is characterized by both a creativity-driven focus on identity, work, and consumption as well as by the enduring adaptability of contemporary capitalism. Liinamaa identifies the compromises required between artistic creativity and the new spirit, while demonstrating how not all compromises are created equally: compromise can support or erode creative diversity.
The adjudication committee noted how the book makes contributions to both the sociology of creativity and has implications for understanding the effects of austerity and restructuring more broadly, focusing on an under-studied profession.
Dr. Laura Bisaillon, University of Toronto
Screening Out: HIV Screening and the Canadian Immigration Experience. University of British Columbia Press, 2022
Screening Out is a sociological study of the Canadian immigration system. Based on three-time award winning research, including a Governor General’s Gold Medal, it offers the first-ever analysis of the medico-legal and administrative practices governing the federal immigration medical program. The argument is that mandatory HIV screening triggers institutional practices that are highly problematic for would-be immigrants and refugees, and for bureaucrats, doctors, and lawyers whose labour tethers them to the system. A narrative-driven analysis detailing the events in the application process of an African woman in her interactions with an immigration doctor, this institutional ethnography of the Canadian immigration process is written from the perspective of the very people to whom the exclusionary health policy is directed. Screening Out produces a corrective to state claims about the functioning of – and the professional and bureaucratic practices supporting – mandatory HIV testing and medical examination, showing how and where things need to change.
The adjudication committee recognized this book as an example of rigorous and reflexive sociology, situated knowledges, and an exceptional narrative that combines sociological theory and methods, and social justice aims.
Dr. Tony Silva, University of British Columbia
Dr. Tony Silva is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia. He is an outstanding scholar who tackles controversial questions and challenges conventional wisdom using high-quality evidence and logic. His first book (with NYU Press) examines the sexual identity-behaviour gap among white men in rural USA – an understudied and “hidden” population. His second book (in press) provides an original sociological theory for the higher frequency of significant age gaps among male-male couples. Silva has published 23 peer-reviewed articles, using diverse research methods, from fixed effects and multi-level models to in-depth interviews. His research has earned significant media coverage and a “best paper” award from the ASA Sexualities section.
Dr. Cary Wu, York University
Dr. Cary Wu is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, York University, Toronto. He is an outstanding scholar who has made significant contributions to the sociology of trust, racism, health, and migration. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, he demonstrates how geographic and cultural contexts alter the effects of social capital on important social outcomes. He has published 30 peer-reviewed articles and a highly impressive record of external research grant success. Dr. cary Wu has co-authored with students, earned teaching and research awards, engaged with diverse audiences and achieved international recognition.
Dr. Stéphanie Garneau, Université d’Ottawa
Migration et classement social. Enquête auprès de migrants marocains au Québec. Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2022.
The book examines the upward mobility and social reproduction strategies of Moroccan migrants and their families. With the expansion of Moroccan migration, the latter are increasingly choosing Quebec as their host province. Drawing on qualitative data from interviews with Moroccan migrants in Quebec, those who have returned permanently and those who are in a state of in-between indecision (to return or to stay in Quebec), the author shows the limits of the economistic bias that prevails both in studies of the causes of migration flows, and in Canadian and Quebec public immigration policies.
Drawing on her mastery of theoretical approaches to the migratory phenomenon and on migrants' own words, the author masterfully demonstrates that the economic factor (finding a job) cannot be completely ignored, but must not be overestimated. For Moroccans, migration is more a strategy of social positioning within a stratified Moroccan society that offers limited opportunities for upward mobility and social reproduction. Migration becomes a family or individual strategy to unblock a blocked upward mobility path, in order to protect oneself from frustration and precariousness. For some migrants, settling in Quebec can be a success in the sense that it leads to reclassification or even social advancement when there is a match between training, professional skills and the job held. For others, the feeling of being downgraded by migration and the possibilities of success in Morocco may lead to a return.
Although Stéphanie Garneau's exceptionally conceptually rich book deals with migration dynamics in the Morocco-Quebec transnational space, it is at once a sociology of Moroccan social stratification, a sociology of family transnationalism, and a critical sociology of migration dynamics and Canadian and Quebec public immigration policies. This book represents a turning point in the critique of economistic bias. It is innovative, well written and allows us to take a fresh look at immigration and immigrants in Canada.
Dr. Katherine Lyon, University of British Columbia
The adjudication committee has selected Katherine Lyon as the recipient of the Lorne Tepperman Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Award in recognition of her exemplary contributions to the teaching of sociology. Her dedicated commitment both to teaching excellence and to the scholarship of pedagogy includes an impressive record of publications, conference papers, and reports on teaching, in addition to leading workshops and other activities related to innovative teaching practices.
Among her most impressive achievements has been the timely creation of new resources to support the teaching of sociology and the application of sociological knowledge in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the development of an e-textbook on COVID-19 and Society, which has been adopted in sociology courses across the country, she introduced a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the same theme, attracting learners from well over one hundred countries. Her innovative work – especially that related to the success of the MOOC – has been the focus of extensive local and national media coverage. Her achievements in these regards have been driven, in the works of one of her colleagues, “by her energy and desire to create smart and critical educational approaches to the pandemic for sociologists.”
In developing and sharing her work in these many ways, Dr. Lyon has enhanced the teaching and understanding of sociology, not only across Canada, but also on a global level.
Dr. Xiaobei Chen, Carleton University
Professor Xiaobei Chen’s contributions to the discipline of sociology are outstanding. Her theoretical and empirical work, rooted on historical and ethnographic research conducted in China and Canada on child adoption and the construction of modernity, laid out the basis for the development of child studies in Canadian sociology. Likewise, her studies on the characteristics, scopes, and limitations of Canadian multiculturalism have been theoretically innovative and inaugurated new routes for the critical understanding of the ethnic and racial tropes informing Canadian public policies.
Professor Xiaobei Chen is also an exceptional sociology educator and mentor. For more than 15 years, she has been providing rigorous training on the sociology of race, intersectionality, and sociological theory to sociology students from Carleton University and beyond. Her graduate seminar “Race, Class and Ethnicity in Contemporary Societies” has become highly popular and a key academic hub through which a new generation of research-oriented, critical, anti-racist sociologists have been trained.
But Professor Chen’s contributions go beyond academia. As a public sociologist, Xiaobei Chen has also been a key figure informing the public debates that critically examined (and denounced) the anti-Asian sentiments that re-emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under her tenure as President of the Canadian Sociological Association, a series of public webinars were also fundamental to produce and disseminate sociological analyses that informed, stimulated, and enhanced public debates on salient social issues facing our societies today.
As Dr. Carlos Novas, Chair of the Department of Sociology at Carleton University notes, Dr. Chen is a distinguished and valued member of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. Dr. Chen has a notable publication record in the fields of anti-racism studies, youth and childhood studies, citizenship studies, and migration and diaspora studies. Her most distinguished monograph Tending the Gardens of Citizenship: Child Saving in Toronto, 1880s-1920s is ground-breaking in that it provides a Foucauldian account of the development of child welfare practices in Canada. Dr. Chen is an outstanding colleague who has actively contributed to the life of the Department in numerous ways. She has served as Associate Chair and the inaugural chair of our Decolonization and Anti-Racism Committee, among other administrative duties.
Dr. Cora Voyageur, University of Calgary
Dr. Cora Voyageur is a trailblazing Indigenous social scientist who has made outstanding contributions to academic sociology and to the communities with whom she has worked. A member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and a residential school survivor, she is a full Professor of Sociology at University of Calgary where she has taught since 1998. Her research focuses on Indigenous women’s leadership, health, entrepreneurship, and community development, and the ways in which Indigenous peoples have shaped Canadian society.
Dr. Voyageur has published or co-published 11 monographs and edited books, including Firekeepers of the 21st Century: First Nations Women Chiefs (McGill-Queens Press, 2008), Hidden in Plain Sight: Contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to Canadian Identity and Culture, Volumes I and II (University of Toronto Press, 2005, 2011), and Indigenous Identity Formation in Post-Secondary Institutions (Brush Education, 2020). She has published dozens of academic articles, book chapters, and community reports, and presented her research at more than 100 academic conferences and international fora such as the Oxford Round Tables in Britain and the United Nations in New York.
In 2003, Dr. Voyageur developed the Indigenous Women in Leadership program at the Banff Centre. She has always been committed to community-engaged research with the goal of making a meaningful return to the communities involved in the research. Dr. Voyageur is also an award-winning teacher who has supervised many PhD, MA, and Honours BA students and is known for incorporating experiential learning opportunities into her courses.
As Dr. Fiona Nelson, Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary notes, Dr. Voyageur’s academic work has had a significant impact both within and outside the academy. In fact, Dr. Voyageur was an early pioneer of community-engaged research and continues to be on the vanguard in this capacity. All of the scholarly work that Dr. Voyageur undertakes, including teaching, research and publishing, is informed and characterized by her connections and commitments to the communities to which she belongs and with which she works. She is one of the leading Indigenous social scientists in Canada and we are lucky to have her among us. Dr. Voyageur has always been at the cutting edge in her research and has achieved the rare status of being a highly esteemed and trusted researcher both within Indigenous communities and within the wider academic community.
Dr. Mélissa Blais, Université du Québec en Outaouais
Ce que la peur fait à l’engagement féministe. Lien social et Politiques, 2021 (86), 94–112
Mélissa Blais's article introduces us to fear as a force for social change. The analysis is based on 87 semi-structured interviews conducted in Quebec and Switzerland. The results nuance the idea that fear immobilizes. On the contrary, fear - whether of police brutality, anti-feminist actions or men's violence - can motivate social action. More specifically, in interaction with other emotions, it can consolidate and encourage feminist engagement. The study is innovative and rigorous, and advances knowledge in the field of social movements, feminist sociology and the sociology of emotions.