Processes, Practices and Power

Kritee Ahmed

Photo of graduate studentKritee Ahmed (doctoral candidate). Kritee’s interests lie in the study of the dailiness of work in Toronto and London, UK public transport organizations, in which the importance of customer service is increasingly emphasized.  To investigate how this organizational discourse influences the understanding of work that serves the public, he uses a broad theoretical approach that integrates governmentality studies, political economy and cultural studies. Kritee also has an evolving interest in race and racialization in the contemporary Canadian policy-making context.

Bojan Baca

Bojan Baca (doctoral candidate). Bojan works predominantly in the sub-disciplines of political sociology, social theory and cultural studies. His research focuses on social movements, contentious politics and activist citizenship in Montenegro, from 1988 to 2014.Bojan is looking into (genesis of) forms and repertoires of contention after the fall of communism and during neoliberal transition/democratization, with a particular focus on structural and cultural constrains and enablers of political contention "from below". He conducted his field research (data collection) in Montenegro during the 2014/2015 academic year andspent the 2015/2016 academic year in the Center for Social Movements and Civil Society Research at the University of Gothenburg, as a recipient of the Swedish Institute scholarship.

Bianca Baggiarini

Photo of graduate studentBianca Baggiarini (doctoral candidate). Bianca's research interests include:  citizenship and sacrifice, critical security studies, and political sociology.  Her dissertation examines how states respond to a 'crisis of military sacrifice' in light of the neoliberal restructuring of capitalism. Thus, she is exploring the relations between military privatization and combat unmanning to expose how the historical link between citizenship and sacrifice is being undone within postmodern wars. Her recent work can be found in the Journal of International Political Theory (2015), St. Anthony's International Review (2014), and in the edited volume, Gender and Private Security in Global Politics (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Grace Barakat

Grace Barakat (doctoral candidate). In light of the precarious labour market in Canada, individuals with post-secondary student debt are faced with a new challenge with regard to repaying their student loans. With little promise of finding stable, full-time employment upon graduation in the contemporary labour market, individuals are taking longer to repay their post-secondary student debts. In her research, Grace explores the difficulties individuals face in managing their post-secondary student debt (university) upon graduation in Ontario. Furthermore, she will investigate the long term effects of post-secondary student debt, such as the postponement of major purchases, taking on a mortgage, marriage and having children. It is also essential to acknowledge equity issues with regard to taking on and managing student debt. To this end, she will focus on the experiences of marginalized groups such as visible minorities, women, lone parents and children of low-income families. As marginalized groups face disproportionate levels of oppression in the labour market, their ability to repay post-secondary student loans will differ from those who identity as part of the majority group.

Hilton Bertalan

Hilton Bertalan (doctoral candidate). Hilton's research is on contemporary radical social movements. In particular, he is analyzing the distinct yet related work of two groups concerned with the injurious effects of public resistance – ‘action medics’ and post-protest care providers. The central question is: what medical and therapeutic care is provided to address the suffering that occurs during and after protest events, and do these care acts signify the putting into practice of an ethico-political principle that is constitutive of the movements with which they are associated? In short, he is looking at how the material support offered by caregivers reveals the political conditions of protest. Which is to say, he aims to contribute to social movements literature by thickening the understanding of the site of protest by focusing on the potentially traumatic consequences of protesting, how responsive and organized acts of care facilitate forms of protest (marches, occupations, and so on), and might also be characterized as an enactment of certain principles held by the participating groups or movements.

Daniel Blais

Daniel Blais (master's candidate). Daniel's research interests are on the concept of 'professionalization', and the various academic discussions around what it means to be 'professional' in one field or another. More specifically, he'll be focusing on what has been written about in art cultures, or subcultures, including bboying (breakdancing), skateboarding, martial arts, ice dancing, etc., where certain participants have been able to seriously pursue their interests as full-time 'professionals' of their craft, in part through the interdependent relationships between the political, corporate and grass roots realms.

Nathali Bortei

Nathali Bortei (master's candidate). Nathali is researching professionalism discourse with a concentration on Black hair politics in the workplace. She aims to explore how "professionalism" discourse excludes equity seeking groups. Discourses related to professionalism have become a control mechanism, seeking to control the conduct of groups that do not fit into traditional capitalist models of success and profit making. In recent years, the social media and a few legal cases have covered a wave of stories whereby Black women have been penalized in the workplace for wearing their hair in its natural form (not straightened), most notably, Rogers v American Airlines, Inc. Her research project analyzes the way Black women's hair "choices" straight or natural can have an effect on their economic wellbeing in the labour market and workplace.

Benjamin Christensen

Benjamin Christensen (doctoral candidate). Benjamin's dissertation looks at occupational pension policy in Ontario from 1987-2015 and the individualization of risk of saving for retirement.

Devin Clancy

Devin Clancy (doctoral candidate). Devin's research looks at the policing and regulation of tobacco in Canada. He focuses on the criminalization of the Native tobacco trade and the use of migrant labour in tobacco production. Broadly, he is interested in the connections between settler colonialism and border imperialism.

Nick Cristiano

Nick Cristiano (doctoral candidate). Nick is interested in the intersection between club drug use, normalization, and harm reduction. His research looks at how normalizing trends of club drug use impact the way that such drugs are being consumed (with particular attention given to how these practices relate to harm). He is more generally interested in youth culture, social deviance, public health, and illicit/licit drug use and abuse.

Daniel Donovan

Daniel Donovan (master's candidate). Daniel's research interests include but are not limited to; radical democracy, protest movements and popular mobilization, neomarxism and anticapitalism, feminist/queer theory, environmental sociology, political ecology, and indigenous studies.

Mandi Gray

Mandi Gray (doctoral candidate). Mandi is interested in researching sexual violence, violence against women, criminalization and imprisonment of women, critical race theory, critical feminist theory, student-led activism.

Rubina Karyar

Rubina Karyar (master's candidate). Rubina's research is on homeless immigrant women’s perspectives on their lived experiences within the shelter system in Toronto. The goal of the research is to extend understanding of the social processes and institutional structures that shape lived experiences of these women. The findings will offer policy makers and service providers insight into the kinds of policies and programs that would most effectively respond to the needs of shelter residents. Rubina will conduct face-to-face interviews with approximately twenty participants: ten who reside in City of Toronto shelter facilities, and ten who live in public spaces. The questions will be designed to encourage participants to provide their own stories about being homeless and their “decision” to live in a shelter and/or public space. Attention will be paid to the personal, institutional, and policy-level factors that affect this decision.

Adam King

Adam King (doctoral candidate). Adam's research deals with the changing labour relations in the mining sector. He is doing work in Sudbury, Ontario on the political economy of work precarity (particularly the increasing use of contract work) and its relation to 'flexible' and 'riskier' forms of capital accumulation. Thus far, he has completed interviews with unionized mine workers on the historical memory of the 2009 Vale strike and role of collective remembering in the making and remaking of class consciousness and union culture. His goal is to link these issues of structural and material change to the interesting and contradictory ways that workers reconcile these transformations in their daily practice.

Danielle Kwan-Lafond

Danielle Kwan-Lafond (doctoral candidate).  Daniell's dissertation looks at the educational aspirations and experiences of first generation women students.

Danielle Landry

Photo of graduate studentDanielle Landry (doctoral candidate). Danielle’s research interests are in the fields of mad studies, critical disability studies, and the sociology of health and illness. Her proposed SSHRC-funded doctoral research aims to re-theorize how we understand accessibility for people with psychiatric disabilities in the workplace. This research will involve conducting a case study of social enterprises currently operating in Ontario that are run by psychiatric consumer/survivors. Danielle’s MA research (York, Sociology) used critical discourse analysis to investigate psychiatric survivor-led research in Canada. She holds a BA in Sociology (Ryerson) and a certificate in Accessibility Practices (Ryerson).

Jocelyn MacDonald

Jocelyn MacDonald (master's candidate). Jocelyn's research interest is rooted in questioning forms of benevolence in the 21st century and contemplating reasons our contemporary versions of giving are largely found in social media platforms and consumption.

Erika McDonald

Erika McDonald (doctoral candidate). Broadly speaking Erika is interested in economics, economic development and organization, politics/governance and policy formation.  Specifically she is interested in looking at the relationship between the state and various actors that affect and shape the process of development and the political economic context in which it occurs.  Most notably she intends to examine the relationship between post neoliberal government and worker cooperatives in Latin America, looking at how they manage the various challenges of this political economic context and what the implications of this may be for the pursuit of alternatives to neoliberal policy both in the development of the Global South and elsewhere.

Zeleco Persaud

Zeleco Persaud (master's candidate). Zeleco aims to identify and probe the reproduction of gender stratification in the transitional home as a family space, as workplace and explore the policies that govern these spaces. The purpose of his research is to respond to the limited research on how staff and youth performance of gendered family relationships can negatively impact transitional youth. The intent is to explore the gendered experiences of youth within transitional living programs through the narratives of transitional home staff and youth. This research will also explore if masculine gender scripts are preferred and more rewarded than feminine ones and if heteronormativity is apparent in transitional homes. It is his intention for this research to be used to reshape family dynamics performed within transitional homes so that gender conformity will not be a contributing factor for transitional home intakes and youth behaviour. It is also his intention that this research be used to support a gender safe atmosphere which will help to negate the many hardships that transitional residents face, hopefully contributing to redesigning the home environment to be more inclusive so that current conventional gender behaviour is no longer a condition of staying in transitional homes and receiving support. By revealing the social exclusion practices that are contributing to a male centered and an overrepresented male population within transitional programs, this research will be useful for local transitional home policy makers and staff to further their commitment to gender equality.

Jarrett Rose

Photo of graduate studentJarrett Rose (doctoral candidate). Jarrett’s past research interests include: neoliberal globalization, American militarism and imperialism; critical theory; political economy; and qualitative methods. His MA thesis (San Diego State University, 2015), Blowback: The American Military Empire, “Free-Market” Globalization, the Iraq Wars, and the Rise of Islamic State, focuses on the intersections between “free-market” ideology, the United States military-industrial complex and imperialism in the Middle East, showing how the US has in many ways facilitated the rise of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Lately, Jarrett’s research interests are located in Western thought of empire, the Enlightenment, and the transition from modernity to postmodernity.

Amanda Salerno

Amanda Salerno (doctoral candidate). Amanda's research interests are in the area of gender and work. Her dissertation is a labour study of the home dialysis program and specifically focuses on the gendered division of paid and unpaid work of both patients and their household members. It also considers the task shifting and de-skilling processes that paid workers are faced with when medical care is shifted out of the hospital to the home.

Vivian Stamatopoulos

Vivian Stamatopoulos (doctoral candidate).  Vivian's research focuses on youths who provide substantial unpaid familial caregiving (i.e. young carers).

Rana Sukarieh

Rana Sukarieh (doctoral candidate). Rana's research interests are in the areas of transnational social movements, social movements and political economy in the Middle East and postcolonialism. Her dissertation focuses on the theory of solidarity among transnational activists, with focus on the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement and the anti-sweatshop movements.

Rob Teixeira

Robert Teixeira (doctoral candidate). Robert's dissertation is in the area of social and moral regulation of youth under recent child protection legislation in Canada. His scholarly foci include governmentality studies, critical sexualities, queer theory and child and youth studies. His dissertation is a critical investigation of the governmentality of contemporary child protection legislation constituted by medical, legal and popular discourses pertaining to risk, age, gender, and youthful sexualities.

Giselle Thompson

Giselle Thompson (doctoral candidate). Giselle's dissertation will examine the relationship between national debt and education expenditures in Jamaica.

Alicia Tomaszczyk

Alicia Tomaszczyk (doctoral candidate). Alicia is interested in political sociology, the sociology of knowledge, and sociological research methods. She has experience conducting both quantitative and qualitative research. For her dissertation, she is investigating advocacy groups’ views of the Census using mixed methods.

Stefan Treffers

Stefan Treffers (doctoral candidate). Stefan's proposed research will be looking at municipal financial governance in cities of decline. He is interested in how cash-strapped municipalities are increasingly turning to risky financial investments located in the municipal bond market to fund city services and infrastructure development, leveraging city pensions in the process, and too commonly coming up short. The bankruptcies of Stockton and Detroit, to name a few, are clear illustrations of how highly speculative financial practices, deeply embedded in market logics, have come to define contemporary strategies to deal with municipal obligations. From a development perspective, he is interested in how city finances acquired through municipal bonds are spent on urban revitalization projects when not reinvested. He would like to draw on works from critical urban theory to assess to what extent these attempts at renewal are inclusive and to what extent they encourage uneven development.

Stefan's other interests include political economy, urban governance, urban marginality, criminalization, and urban regulation.

Shaira Vadasaria

Shaira Vadasaria (doctoral candidate). Shaira's doctoral research explores political imaginings of freedom of movement in occupied Palestine. Examining the life work of two emerging experimental projects in the West Bank (one centered around space/architecture and one centered around the body/healing), her research asks: How are pedagogies of time being imagined and practiced in Palestinian community life and what do these practices reveal about the relationship between carcerality and racial governance under settler-colonial life. Her broader research interests speak to anti-colonial feminist theory, critical race studies and settler-colonialism.

Hart Walker

Hart Walker (doctoral candidate). Hart's research interests include the History of the Canadian welfare state from the 1980s to the present; deindustrialization, globalization and the rise of precarious work and abandonment of the full employment initiative in Canada; Canada’s “social economy” and its links to social policy; critical analyses of the Ontario Works social welfare policy and its links to precarious labour; critical social research methods, including critical social policy analysis, institutional ethnography, critical discourse analysis and community-based research; Marxist critical theories of everyday life, particularly the work of Henri Lefebvre and Agnes Heller; Jeremy Rifkin’s work on “postcapitalism” and the emancipatory potential of new technologies.

Jason Webb

Jason Webb (doctoral candidate). Jason's dissertation examines how homeless families practice social reproduction while residing in family shelters. His research interests include social and economic inequality, homelessness, and urban sociology.