Blog

Welcome to the blog for the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Posts on this site are the opinion of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Federation, its staff or its board of directors. Entries are posted in the language of the author.

Members of the university research community are invited to make guest blog submissions on issues relating to the wellbeing of the humanities and social sciences research and learning enterprise in Canada. Click here to read the Federations’ blog policy. Please send your submission to communications@ideas-idees.ca.

The right to be safe: Bullying is a human rights issue

Wendy Craig (Queen’s University), Joanne Cummings (York University), and Debra Pepler (York University)
Guest Contributors

Recent highly profiled cases in the media of bullying leading to suicide have highlighted a significant public health problem, one with tragic consequences. Our research shows that at its core, bullying is a relationship problem where the rights of children are violated.

Bullying is a problem that arises from complex interpersonal dynamics.  Within the relationship...

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Reflections on culture, identity and human dignity

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Princeton University
Guest Contributor

I never much liked ‘multiculturalism.’ The word, I mean, not everything that was ever done in its name. Multiculturalism, in the United States, was offered as a solution to tensions between blacks and whites, Christians and Muslims, Anglos and Latinos. Learning each other’s cultures was supposed to help. But those tensions never seemed to have a lot to do with differences in culture.

African-Americans, for instance, are not particularly culturally homogeneous. The music, the sports, the literature, the movies they care about, they care about not as blacks but as individuals, or...

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Humanities in peril/at work

Jean-Marc Mangin
Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

There is a well known discourse that humanities are less relevant and a luxury in a globalized, violent and competitive world to prepare young minds to the dog-eat-dog technological society that they are facing. To the contrary, humanities are more needed than ever to develop nimble, agile and critical minds in a complex world.

This week, I was fortunate to come across one real live example of the relevance of the humanities when Carleton University signed a MOU with the new University of Central Asia to support the Aga Khan Humanities Project.

The Governments in Central Asia often view  the humanities with a great deal of dangerous to their powers and as a western concept (...

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Making schools better for LGBT: Homophobia and transphobia lessons

Rebecca Haskell, BC Society of Transition Houses and Brian Burtch, Simon Fraser University
Guest Contributors

In recent weeks there has been increasing media attention given to the suicides of young lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) youth in Canada and the United States. What has been framed as a recent rash of suicides is not really recent at all – a decade ago researchers at the McCreary Centre Society in British Columbia found that nearly half of the LGB youth they sampled had attempted to take their own lives and the average age at the time of attempt was only thirteen. As Kris Wells articulately stated in...

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Redeveloping balance: Women after workplace bullying

Elsie Hambrook
Guest Contributor

Recently, researchers at the University of New Brunswick interviewed 36 women from Atlantic Canada who had been bullied in the workplace. What they learned is surprising. The researchers’ main conclusions, published last month in an academic journal, was that women could not continue working in a business-as-usual way after experiencing bullying because it interfered with their health and work practices.

“Their approach to work, energy while at work, and ability to accomplish work are affected.” Their thoughts were consumed...

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