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Paperback 368 pp.
10 photos; 3 tables; 5 figures (all b&w), 6" x 9"



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Imprint: OUP Canada

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Questioning Sociology

Canadian Perspectives, Third Edition

Edited by Myra J. Hird and George Pavlich

Now exploring twenty-four critical questions through chapters written by Canada's top sociologists, the third edition of Questioning Sociology draws students into contemporary sociological debates. With new contributions from experts on important Canadian issues - including global inequality, health, and communication - this latest edition is essential reading for students entering the field.

Readership : Questioning Sociology is a supplemental reader for Introduction to Sociology courses offered out of sociology departments in universities and colleges at the first-year level.


  • "This text is clearly and distinctively set apart from other introductory sociology textbooks. I don't know of any others like it. The critical perspective and the use of original articles and research are excellent."
    --Stephanie Skourtes, University of British Columbia

  • "Each chapter successfully addresses key sociological issues of our time and links them to everyday life issues."
    --Sandria Officer, Seneca College

Note: Each chapter includes:
- Introduction
- Review/summary questions
- Notes
- Conclusion
Introduction: Sociological Questions, George Pavlich and Myra J. Hird
Part One: Subjections
1. Am I Free?, George Pavlich
Sociology and Liberal Images of Freedom
An Alternative View of Individual Freedom
Conclusion: Am I Free?
2. Who Am I? Who Can I Become?, Dawn H. Currie and Deirdre M. Kelly
Policing Conventional Girlhood
Being "Who You Are": Challenging Convention
"Playing with Gender" Online: The Limits of Individual Resistance
3. Why Be Queer?, Barry D. Adam
Minoritizing, Universalizing
Disciplining Gender and Affection
Conclusion: Queer = Freedom
4. How Do We Think About Mental Illness?, Erin Dej
How Do We "Know" Mental Illness?
Deinstitutionalization: Ideas and Reality
The Development of the Mad Movement
5. Does "the Family" Exist?, Catherine Krull
Situating the "Traditional" Family
Legacy of Privileging the Nuclear Family
Canada's Family Diversity
Conclusion: Families Exist and They Still Matter
Part Two: Social Questions
6. Is Social Welfare Viable?, Lois Harder
Defining Social Welfare
The Keynesian Welfare State
The Crisis of the Welfare State
After the Welfare State
The New Social Welfare
7. What Are Social Determinants of Health?, Elaine M. Power
Situating the Social Determinants of Health
How the Social Determinants of Health Get under Our Skin
A Life Course Approach to the Social Determinants of Health
Conclusion: What to do?
8. How Do Immigrants Integrate?, Lori Wilkinson
Some Important Demographics of Immigration in Canada
What Do Immigrants Do in Canada?
9. What Are the Challenges of Economic Transition? Exploring the Consequences of Regional Dynamics and Global Shifts, Jennifer Jarman
Unemployment and Underemployment in Atlantic Canada
Out-Migration and Atlantic Communities
Will a "New Economy" Keep Young People in the Region?
Service Sector Employment versus Work in Traditional Industries
The Call Centre Industry in Atlantic Canada
10. What Is Communication?, Sandra Robinson (NEW)
Understanding Communication
Models of Communication
Doing Communication Studies
11. How Does Media Transform Society?, Daniel Downes
The Context of Mass Communication
Approaches to Media Study
What Happened to the Old Media?
Characteristics of New Media Systems
Mobility and the Third Screen
Concerns and Criticisms about New Media
12. Should Policing Be Privatized?, Curtis Clarke
Policing: A Brief Explanation
The Shifting Landscape of Policing
A Question of Public Good
A Reconfigured Connection between State and Policing
13. What Do Official Statistics Tell Us about Ourselves?, Nob Doran
Everyday Knowledge versus Official Statistics: Learning from Ethnomethodology
Everyday Power Relations within "Official Statistics": Learning from Feminist Scholarship
14. Who Governs Canada?, Dawn Moore
Introduction: What Is Governance?
What Are the Different Ways We Can Think about Governance?
Who Has the Right to Govern?
How Do We Control the Right to Govern?
What If You Don't Want to Be Governed in a Specific Way?
Part Three: Critical Sociological Imaginations
15. How Do We Help the Environment?, Myra J. Hird (NEW)
What Is an Environmental Issue?
Whose Knowledge Gets to Define Environmental Issues?
How Are Environmental Issues Governed?
Is Sustainability Good for the Environment?
16. What Is Sovereignty for Indigenous People?, Vanessa Watts (NEW)
Social Implications and the Kainere'ko:wa
Social Theory and Indigenous Sovereignties
Sovereignty: From Turtle Island to Geneva
17. What Is Sovereignty in Quebec?, Philippe Couton
(Un)natural Independence
What Is a Nation?
Evolution toward Independence?
Is Nationalism an Ideology?
Sovereignty to Post-Sovereignty
18. Is There Justice for Young People?, Bryan Hogeveen
What Is Justice?
Justice and the Poor?
Justice and Indigenous Youth?
Justice for Girls?
Voices of Youth?
19. Women and Prison: Who and Why?, Kelly Hannah-Moffat
Number and Characteristics of Women in Canadian Prisons
Pathways into Crime and Prison
Gender-Specific Approaches
20. How Is Aging a Critical Sociological Problem?, Stephen Katz (NEW)
The Aging Population and the Problem of Apocalyptic Demography
The Life Course and the Problem of the Aging Body
Generation and the Problem of the Commercialization of "Boomers"
Gendered Aging and the Problem of the Gendered Life Course
Conclusions and Future Trends
21. What Is Global Inequality?, Amy Kaler (NEW)
Introduction: "Everybody's different"
Why Does Inequity Exist?
Global Inequalities and Inequities
Comparing Inequalities
Changing Global Inequalities
Conclusion: Pressing Inequities
22. What Use Is Social Theory?, R.A. Sydie
What Is Social Theory?
What Do Theorists Do?
Postmodern Social Theory?
And So, What Is the Use of Social Theory?
23. What Questions Has Sociology Deserted?, Lorne Tepperman (with the assistance of Zoe Sebastien)
Some Background
Some Deserted Topics
The Resurgence of Some Deserted Topics
24. What Does the Future Hold for Canadian Sociology?, George Pavlich (NEW)
I: Sociology's Fascination with the Future
II: Imagining a Coming Crisis: Administrative Sociology and Critical Encounters
III: Imagining Sociology's Futures Today
Review/Summary Questions

E-Book (ISBN 9780199020119)

Myra J. Hird is a Queen's National Scholar and full professor at Queen's University and the Director of the genera Research Group. Her research involves the exploration of both science and technology as they relate to debates about the constitution of "nature" and "culture," the ontology of sexual difference, and sexuality. Myra has written several books, including Sociology for the Asking: An Introduction to Sociology for New Zealand (OUP Australia: 2003), Questioning Sociology: Canadian Perspectives (OUP 2007 & 2012), and Sociology of Science: A Critical Canadian Introduction (OUP: 2012).

George Pavlich is a professor of law and sociology at the University of Alberta, currently serving as the Canada Research Chair in Social Theory, Culture and Law. His research interests include the areas of social theory, socio-legal studies, sociology of law and culture, theories of governance and sovereignty, criminal accusation, restorative justice, the legal person and the politics of law, and critical criminology. He is the author of numerous journal articles and several books including Sociology for the Asking: An Introduction to Sociology for New Zealand (OUP Australia: 2003), Questioning Sociology: Canadian Perspectives (OUP: 2007 & 2012), and Law and Society Redefined (OUP: 2011).

Thinking about Sociology - Karen L. Anderson
Imagining Sociology - Catherine Corrigall-Brown
Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Starting Points - Lorne Tepperman
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Foundations of Sociology - John Steckley
Principles of Sociology - Edited by Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese
Introducing Sociology - Murray Knuttila and Andre Magnan
Reading Sociology - Edited by Patrizia Albanese, Lorne Tepperman and Emily Alexander
Elements of Sociology - John Steckley

Special Features

  • Essays written by Canadian scholars give students an authoritative introduction to key topics such as communication, sovereignty for Quebec and Indigenous peoples, and how immigrants integrate into Canadian society.
  • Critical approach offers in-depth investigations of key social issues and theories, encouraging students to question commonly held assumptions.
  • Engaging topics - including identity, freedom, sex and gender, mass communication, mental illness, and youth justice - are presented as questions to draw students into debates that relate key issues to their own lives.
  • Thematic organization - accessible part openers link the readings to major themes in sociology while brief chapter introductions and conclusions contextualize the material and help students identify similar concepts.
  • Questions for Reflection found in the part openers offer students points to consider while reading.
New to this Edition
  • Eight new chapters on social determinants of health (Ch. 7), immigrants (Ch. 8), communication (Ch. 10), environmental sociology (Ch. 15), Indigenous sovereignty (Ch. 16), aging (Ch. 20), global inequality (Ch. 21), and the future of sociology (Ch. 24).
  • New visual program includes photos, figures, and tables to engage students.
  • Revised pedagogy includes end-of-chapter review questions and an expanded glossary to ensure students have grasped core concepts.