Culture + Society – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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A religion sociologist discovers that his criticism of the Church is based on lies. Shutterstock

The Catholic Church is a rich male collective

The real lessons of Jesus Christ as outlined in the Bible are socialist. But the Church, a veritable old boys club, doesn't teach us that.
Innovative queer pop-ups challenge arguments about the death and demise of queer spaces in the city. Here an image from 2069 Sci-fi Kiki Vogue Ball of the Future presented in collaboration with Ricecake, Vancouver. John Bello/Facebook

Queer pop-ups take us beyond the gaybourhood

Rapacious gentrification in Vancouver is part of the story and struggle for queer residents but queer pop-ups offer some respite.
Sirley Silveira Paixao, an immigrant from Brazil seeking asylum, kisses her 10-year-old son Diego Magalhaes, after he is released from immigration detention in Chicago on July 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

Drugging detained children is like using a chemical straitjacket

Psychotropic medication is 'pharmaceutical violence' against migrant children and other incarcerated youth throughout the United States. Drug addiction is one consequence.
Serena Williams looks at her box during the women’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament against Naomi Osaka, of Japan on Sept. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

That racist caricature of Serena Williams makes me so angry

Serena Williams challenged decades of stereotypes when she revealed her anger after she disagreed with a U.S. Open umpire. A racist caricature and calls to boycott her playing by umpires followed.
The Ontario government “back to basics” approach to the curriculum will not best serve children who need a mixture of traditional and discovery learning methods. Shutterstock

No matter what method is used to teach math, make it fun

Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Education Lisa Thompson have told elementary school teachers to expect curriculum change directives for "back to basics" mathematics, a move that could hurt students.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes his seat to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington in April 2018 about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Big Tech is overselling AI as the solution to online extremism

Many tech titans say they can self-regulate online hate speech and extremism with artificial intelligence, but can they?
If you ditch the Cinderella story and intentionally craft romantic relationships to suit you – evidence from business and philosophy says you might have a good chance of deep happiness. (Shutterstock)

How to ‘love-craft’ your relationships for health and happiness

A polyamorous philosopher draws from research evidence to argue that where love is concerned, we should break all the established rules.
Self-help leaders can convince us that we have the responsibility to improve our lives. But this can ignore the realities of social inequities. Tony Robbins, motivational speaker, personal finance instructor and self-help author on ‘Wall Street Week’ in 2016. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Self-help in the ‘age of responsibility’ denies unequal realities

Self-help books can help us get through difficult times by telling us we have the agency to take control. But this method can also ignore structural inequities and negatively influence public policy.
Eroding civility is not just a U.S. phenomenon. We need to learn how to speak to each other, no matter what our politics. (Shutterstock)

Making society civil again

Eroding civility is not just an American phenomenon; it's global. But it's time for a return to civility as we reflect on how we will be judged and remembered when the dust of history settles upon us.
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Rimrock Auto Arena in Billings, Mont., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Jim Urquhart)

Location, location, location: Trump has the best spot in American politics

Disparate groups that include white nationalists, business elites and evangelical Christians have all tried to put a leader in the White House. They all failed -- until Donald Trump came along.
A line of protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota head to a unity rally on the west steps of the State Capitol in September 2016 in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Protecting heritage is a human right

Development projects are claiming ancestral sites at alarming rates. This ineffective protection of Indigenous heritage is a violation of human rights.
Distractions at work can take up more time than you think, but doodling may just help you get through that lecture or meeting. (Shutterstock)

The science of multitasking, and why you should doodle in class

Multitasking may not be what you think it is and it might not even help you be more productive if you choose to do the wrong things at the same time.
Research among Canadians shows employment to be a critical social determinant of health, partly because those who earn higher wages have more access to safe housing, nutritious foods, social services and medical care. (Shutterstock)

For millennials, employment is a public health challenge

No longer can young people invest in their education and work their way into secure employment. The health impacts of this job insecurity are profound.
The myth that educated women over 40 find it impossible to find a mate to marry prevails - but it has long been debunked. What are the actual impacts of higher education on a women’s ‘marriageability?’ Here a wedding pic from Cambridge Mill, Cambridge, Canada. Anne Edgar/Unsplash

Does being smart and successful lower your chances of getting married?

The old myth that it's impossible for educated women over 40 to get married still lingers. Actually, educated women are doing OK in the U.S. In China, however, the story changes.
Calgary beat out Vancouver on this year’s most livable city index issued by the Economist magazine. Flickr

Canada’s most livable city is not Vancouver…it’s Calgary

Vancouver lost out to Calgary as Canada's most livable city this year. Why? Is it the high cost of housing or is it the city's 'neighbourhood first' method that sometimes creates business instability?
An asylum-seeker saying he’s from Eritrea is confronted by an RCMP officer as he crosses the border into Canada from the United States on Aug. 21 near Champlain, N.Y. Canadians have false beliefs about the so-called migration crisis, and politicians are capitalizing on it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Canadian politicians are playing a dangerous game on migration

Canada's opposition Conservatives are borrowing from European populists in stoking fears about asylum-seekers and migrants. Here's why that's so dangerous.
Shutterstock.

Please don’t call it a food swamp

An abundance of unhealthy food choices in neighbourhoods is called a food swamp. But since swamps are actually wetlands and good for public health, we should choose a new term.
Members of the Canadian Forces march during a Remembrance Day ceremony in Vancouver, B.C., on Nov. 11, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Why Canadians pay little attention to their military

Canadians' indifference to their military isn't so surprising. Almost every military conflict has raised serious questions, and spurred divisive debate, about Canadian unity and independence.
In what became one of the defining moments of his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, Republican candidate John McCain takes back the microphone from Gayle Quinnell, who said Barack Obama “was an Arab.” The moment occurred during a town hall meeting on Oct. 10, 2008, in Lakeville, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

What we can learn from John McCain’s civic vulnerability

John McCain did something during the 2008 U.S. presidential election that would seem very out of place today: he made himself vulnerable by speaking up about the character of opponent Barack Obama.
A protester opposed to the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is lowered to a police boat after spending two days suspended from a bridge in Vancouver in July 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Lessons from Clayoquot Sound for the Trans Mountain pipeline protests

Based on the success of the Clayoquot Sound protests 25 years ago, we can expect the TransMountain pipeline expansion protest movement, and its related civil disobedience, to continue.
Hannah Shaw (Kitten Lady), with Instagram influencer BriAnne Wills (@girlsandtheircats) at a marketing event in New York, Feb. 2018. Loren Wohl for Fresh Step/AP

The ruthless pursuit of online ‘likes’ gives you nothing

Although some social media users are able to monetize their social media "likes," much of the pursuit of popularity amounts to nothing and instead turns us into pawns for political and commercial uses
Gap released a back-to-school ad campaign a couple weeks ago which included a picture of a young girl wearing a hijab which raised many questions for many people. Gap Inc.

Gap back-to-school ‘hijab ad’ ignites social media

Gap's recent back-to-school ad campaign was praised for its portrayal of the diversity of children. One of the girls in the ads was wearing a hijab: this raised a huge debate on social media.
A man holds a sign at a memorial remembering the victims of the July 22, 2018 shooting in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Toronto mass shooting: How the city is coping a month later

Toronto is still grappling with the fallout from two mass casualty events -- April's van attack and a mass shooting in July. A month after the shooting, how is Toronto moving forward?
Girls are often the target of ‘moral’ dress codes, like no tank tops or ‘no bra straps.’ Pan Xiaozhen/Unsplash

It’s time to address the hidden agenda of school dress codes

Dress codes in schools can mask a lot of inequality issues around gender, race and religion. Why not go with a simple policy that applies to everyone equally and discuss the underlying issues instead?