Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canadian Society: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Canadian Society: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century

Article excerpt

Dan Glenday and Ann Duffy (eds), Canadian Society: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century (Don Mills: Oxford University Press Canada, 2001), x + 366pp. Paper. $35.95. ISBN 0-1954-1437-3.

Canada consistently gains high scores on the United Nations Human Development Index, confirming that in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and standard of living, its standing relative to that of other nations - according to aggregate statistics - is very high. At the same time, from within Canada, there are critical voices that draw attention to continuing unemployment, poverty, homelessness, and other social issues. This book takes such a critical stance, bringing together eleven essays that analyse features of contemporary Canada that reveal conflict and contradictions in Canadian society. As the editors note '(t)he basic theme that connects all of the contributions is inequality' (viii). This collection is designed as a book for teaching, with 'questions for critical thought' a brief glossary, and a guide to suggested reading at the end of each chapter.

An introduction by Ann Duffy and Dan Glenday sets the scene and clarifies the approach, with reference to the value of understanding social change in Canada and its structural contexts. There are four main sections. The first focusses on conflict and inequality, with chapters on trade unions, racism, and poverty and inequality. The second, with the sub-title 'Institutions in Crisis', contains chapters on the role of the state, public education, and crime. …

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