Initial Conference Session List

This information is subject to change and additional sessions and events will be added so check back often.

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Session List

The Conference sessions are listed below in alphabetical order. Use the search box to filter by keyword.

A Critical Take on Discourses and Practices of Well-Being

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In recent years, and especially since the advent of COVID-19, interest in the issue of wellness or well-being has increased. More academic research on wellness is being produced, and the issue is more frequently being discussed on a variety of public platforms. Additionally, more institutions are establishing wellness policies, hiring wellness officers, and /or offering wellness webinars, apps, and other tools to promote and support their staff's and/or clients' well-being. While many people have welcomed this increased attention to the issue, others are concerned about the harmful consequences and uses of well-being discourses and practices. These include their potential to entrench if not worsen the status quo by individualizing social issues, making people responsible for solving problems that are not of their own making, and blaming, pathologizing, or punishing people who do not/cannot improve their personal well-being. The aim of this session is to critically examine ways in which wellness discourses and practices are being deployed, to tease out the associated benefits and harms, and to propose ways to maximize the former while minimizing the latter. Papers may be historical, analytical, empirical, prescriptive, or a combination of these. They may also address wellness discourses and practices in general terms or more specifically, focusing, for example, on one particular wellness discourse or practice or on the uses and consequences of wellness discourses and/or practices within a particular institution or group of institutions.

Organizer: Claire Polster, University of Regina

A Structure Not an Event: Settler Colonial Analyses of the Canadian Scholastic Apparatus

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An Althusserian (2014) approach to education posits that the Scholastic Apparatus exists to replicate the ideologies and norms of the nation-state. Looking to Wolfe (1999, 2006, 2013), we know that the invasion of what is currently called Canada was a structure and not an event; thus, systems of education, as part of the overall settler colonial structure of the nation-state, are used to defend Indigenous removal, elimination, and assimilation (Tuck & Yang, 2012). In other words, education in Canada serves to rationalize (a) the theft of Indigenous lands and (b) the right of settler occupation on Indigenous lands. Federal and provincial/territorial governments, school boards, as well as higher education institutions continue their attempts to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action (2015); however, structural concerns such as anti-Indigenous racism, as well as the ongoing nature of settler colonial processes (Carrillo Rowe & Tuck, 2017; Jafri, 2017; Kauanui, 2016; Lawrence 2004; Lawrence & Dua, 2005; Razack, 2002) are often ignored. As Tuck and Yang (2012) cautioned, “decolonization is not a metaphor,” and yet how can state institutions claim to be engaging in reconciliatory and/or decolonial processes when settler colonialism facilitated the formation of the Canadian nation-state?
This co-sponsored panel session with the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada —one of the Associations within the Canadian Society for Studies in Education—seeks proposals for papers that aim to confront the ways settler colonialism exists always-already within state governance structures and accordingly inside mainstream systems of education, both K-12 and post-secondary. More specifically, this panel aims to disrupt the ways education is viewed as “value neutral” and instead to interrogate the ways it is and has always been settler colonial.

Organizer: Danielle Lorenz, University of Alberta

Acting Against Speciesism: Bringing Animals to the Centre

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Social movements and activism around animal welfare and rights have been a consistent presence in Western society over the past six decades. From reform to animal welfare laws and the status of animals as property to climate crisis protests, awareness is being raised around the prevalence of speciesism in our world. Speciesism harms both animals and humans; academic research and social justice initiatives with intersectional non-speciesist approaches are needed. This session invites case studies, theoretical papers, or research works which highlight the successes of animal related advocacy, challenges within the social movements, efforts to reform structural speciesism, and recognition of both human and animal labour in the drive for non-speciesist social justice.

Organizers: Rochelle Stevenson, Thompson Rivers University, Sarah May Lindsay, McMaster University

Agency among Children and Youth in Educational and Extra-curricular Activities: A Microsociology Perspective

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Children and youth are no longer “seen and not heard”, but rather their voices permeate the home and greater social sphere. Within education, sociologists have found that children have the ability to structure everything from their own participation during summer months (Chin & Phillips, 2004), to securing their own kinds of advantages and opportunities inside classrooms (Calarco, 2011, 2014, 2018). Sociologists have begun to note the interesting connections between child agency and microsociology. In tandem, these scholars encourage research with, rather than, about children and youth. We invite empirical, theoretical, and methodological papers that consider the autonomy of children and youth in endeavors related to their own development. Particularly, how do children and youth use their “capital” to secure advantages for themselves or navigate the various contexts of their own learning and extracurricular activities. This session should leave participants with a greater understanding of how children and youth are negotiating their own educational and extracurricular experiences in the 21st century.

Organizers: Jessica Rizk, University of Waterloo, Cathlene Hillier, Crandall University

Aging and Society

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Increased life expectancies and the overall aging of the population represent a significant demographic shift. Such a shift entails numerous economic, social, political, and cultural complexities and challenges, ones that have recently become the subject of increased sociological scrutiny. In addition to understanding the macro-level features of our aging society, there is also a need for creative and critical research on conceptions and configurations of old age, aging or late life (care) relationships in various institutional and everyday realms. This session therefore welcomes papers on any aspect of the sociology of aging or aging studies, and from any methodological or theoretical perspective.

Organizers: Dana Sawchuk, Wilfrid Laurier University, Janna Klostermann, Carleton University