Kritee 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.
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 (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.
Gizem Çakmak (doctoral candidate). Gizem's research interests focus broadly on political economy of gender, work and labour, feminist political economy, and social policy analysis. As an intersectional feminist labour activist, she is interested in studying various forms of organizing in the context of social movement unionism, and how these organizations draw upon, are limited, and transformed by the legal environment defined by the state and the capital.
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 (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.
Jade DaCosta (doctoral candidate). Jade Crimson Rose Da Costa is a PhD Sociology candidate with a joint honors degree in Sociology and English Language and Literature and a Master’s degree in Sociology from Western University. They do gender, sex and sexuality studies with a concentration on queer, postcolonial, and Black feminist theories. Specifically, their dissertation focuses on the pragmatic development of Toronto activist group AIDS ACTION NOW! (AAN!) through a queer-postcolonial and Black feminist lens.
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.
Danielle Kwan-Lafond (doctoral candidate). Daniell's dissertation looks at the educational aspirations and experiences of first generation women students.
Danielle 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).
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.
Kaitlin Peters (doctoral candidate). Kaitlin is investigating how gender and race structure union strategy in the Ontario pubic sector under conditions of austerity. She is primarily interested in the role whiteness and masculinity have in structuring union demands and union advocacy strategy against public sector funding cuts under Doug Ford and Ontario’s Conservative government. Her research will more generally contribute to understanding the processes that maintain and/or dissolve gendered and racialized hierarchies within the public sector and their potential reification under neoliberalism.
Jarrett 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 (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.
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 (doctoral candidate). Using Jamaica as a case study, my dissertation is a requisite investigation into the combined and unique phenomena that structural adjustment, fiscal challenges at the state level, and public education present to school aged children, families, and society at large. Examining what I refer to as the “transnational-diasporic” dimension of this trifold combination, I seek to ascertain how the Jamaican Diaspora’s remittances support public schools in the wake of austere conditions and limited state financing.
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 (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.
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 (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.