How do we make sense of the social problems such as poverty, economic collapse, violence, homophobia and pollution that continue to plague Canadian society? From the neoliberal perspective all of these issues come down to individual choice and action, but from the critical perspective social issues emerge from inequalities — disparities in access to housing, education, healthcare and wealth, for example — and inequalities emerge from relations of power. Some groups of people have privileged access to resources and use their power to maintain and enhance their privilege, thereby creating problems for other groups of people. In Power and Resistance contributors use a variety of analytical approaches within this critical perspective to explore specific social, economic and political issues that result from social inequality. The essays in this collection also examine the ways that Canadians, both individually and collectively, resist these inequalities in order to resolve social troubles and create a more just society.
Suitable for a variety of social science disciplines, this accessible textbook uses case studies drawn from the Canadian experience to introduce students to complex notions of social and structural inequality, power and resistance. This 5th edition of Power and Resistance includes many of the familiar chapters but also adds new ones dealing with homophobia in high schools, body art, the global economic crisis, social media, fat-phobia, food politics and the tar sands.