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 contact Lily Polowin at lpolowin@ideas-idees.ca if you wish to propose a blog article. 

Combating Unconscious Bias and Systemic Racism

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 

Although – hopefully – most of us do not consciously or intentionally work to perpetuate inequality in the world, odds are that most of us at least sometimes say or do things that preclude diversity and exclude the ‘other.’ SAGE Publishing hosted the “Getting Real About Inequality and Unconscious Bias” open event at Congress on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. This event featured pre-recorded presentations by two contributing authors to the book, Getting Real About Race, and one contributing author to the book, Getting Real About Inequality, all of whom speak on how we can endeavour to do better in terms of addressing inequality and unconscious bias. 

The first speaker, Karen Wu, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and contributed the chapter, ““I Just Think Asian Men Aren’t Sexy!”: Race, Class, Gender, Sexuality, and the Devaluing...

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Making Social Work Work: Presentations on Current Research in the Field of Social Work

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 

The Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE) hosted “Life Satisfaction for Disabled Youth: What Role Does Resilience Play?,” which comprised of three pre-recorded videos, each followed by a brief Q&A session, that summarized the results of some recent research that was conducted in the field of social work. 

University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work doctoral candidates Ran Hu and Ami Goulden presented their research on resilience, stating that “young people living with disabilities in Canada report significantly lower levels of perceived life satisfaction than their non-disabled peers.” They name ‘resilience,’ defined as “our capacity to navigate and negotiate resources that sustain our wellbeing,” as playing a significant role in narrowing the gap in life satisfaction between disabled and non-disabled young people. While meanings of...

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Let’s Talk about Inclusivity!

Congress 2021 edition 

By Anurika Onyenso, Third Year General Management Major, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. 

Social inclusion is context-dependent and calls forth a myriad of philosophical ideals. The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Nursing’s “Social Inclusion and Health Equity” webcast invited a panel of eloquent speakers and participants to discuss their views on the topic of social inclusion and its links to human rights discourses and health outcomes. Their discussions were centered around marginalization, disadvantage and exclusion.  

The webcast began with a discussion paper presentation by Edythe Andison, registered nurse with a background in geriatrics, Sherry Dahlke, Associate Professor, Faculty of Nursing, and Robin Coatsworth-Puspoky, a Nursing PhD candidate at the University of Alberta with a background in geriatric mental health. They looked at how, as nurses, they can transcend geographical age boundaries, race,...

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Becoming Your Own Best Critic: How to Edit Your Own Work


Congress 2021 blog edition 
 
By Valerie Leow, J.D. Candidate, University of Alberta 
 
Many of you are likely familiar with the difficulties of editing your own writing. When reading over your own work, your brain has a tendency to make sense of what you think is on the page, rather than what is actually there, thus letting mistakes and inefficient writing pass by unnoticed. It is hard to edit your own writing. And it does not help that some of the most valuable – and obvious – strategies for editing your own writing are also, unfortunately, difficult to put into practice. Strategies like waiting a few weeks between drafting and editing, filling the time in between with a lot of other reading and writing, are simply not possible if you have a hard deadline to submit your work by. Alternatively, having a trusted friend or colleague look over your writing, or even hiring a professional editor, might also be impractical...
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How Social Meaning Constructs a Narrative of Adolescent Suicide Clusters

Congress 2021 blog edition 

By Megan Perram, PhD Candidate in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta 

Trigger warning: This blog post discusses suicide in youth. 

How do we create the social meanings surrounding youth and suicide? This is a question Seth Abrutyn, Associate Professor at The University of British Columbia, is seeking to explore. Abrutyn begins his talk by calling into question the current methodological and theoretical directions of his home discipline, sociology, in terms of studying modern suicide. Suicide, particularly in young people, has never been more salient in our discourse and critical consciousness. Young people are evidently suffering, and one of the phenomena coming out of this tragedy is suicide clusters. 

Abrutyn argues that the issue of suicide clusters, particularly in high schools, is escalating, however we know very little about how they function and...

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