In the Anglo-Atlantic world of the late nineteenth century, groups of urban residents struggled to reconstruct their cities in the wake of industrialization and to create the modern city. New professional men wanted an orderly city that functioned for economic development. Women’s vision challenged the men’s right to reconstruct the city and resisted the prevailing male idea that women in public caused the city’s disorder.
Constructing the Patriarchal City compares the ideas and activities of men and women in four English-speaking cities that shared similar ideological, professional, and political contexts. Historian Maureen Flanagan investigates how ideas about gender shaped the patriarchal city as men used their expertise in architecture, engineering, and planning to fashion a built environment for male economic enterprise and to confine women in the private home. Women consistently challenged men to produce a more equitable social infrastructure that included housing that would keep people inside the city, public toilets for women as well as men, housing for single, working women, and public spaces that were open and safe for all residents.
A fascinating deep dive into one city’s urban policy—and the anxiety over immigrants that informs it
The city of Toronto is often held up as a leader in diversity and inclusion. In Fearing the Immigrant, however, Parastou Saberi argues that Toronto’s urban policies are influenced by a territorialized and racialized security agenda—one that parallels the “War on Terror.” Focusing on the figure of the immigrant and so-called immigrant neighborhoods as the targets of urban policy, Saberi offers an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to the politics of racialization and the governing of alterity through space in contemporary cities.
A comprehensive study of urban policymaking in Canada’s largest city from the 1990s to the late 2010s, Fearing the Immigrant uses Toronto as a jumping-off point to understand how the nexus of development, racialization, and security works at the urban and international levels. Saberi situates urban policymaking in Toronto in relation to the dominant policies of international development and public health, counterinsurgency, and humanitarian intervention. Engaging with the genealogies and contemporary developments of major policy techniques involving mapping and policy concepts such as poverty, security, policing, development, empowerment, as well as social determinants of health, equity, and prevention, she scrutinizes the parallel ways these techniques and concepts operate in urban policy and international relations.
Fearing the Immigrant ultimately asserts that the geopolitical fear of the immigrant is central to the formation of urban policy in Toronto. Rather than addressing the root causes of poverty, urban policy as it has been practiced aims to pacify the specter of urban unrest and to secure the production of a neocolonial urban order. As such, this book is an urgent call to reimagine urban policy in the name of equality and social justice.
Pollution of air, soil, and waterways has become a primary concern of urban environmental policy making, and over the past two decades there has emerged a new era of urban policy that links development with ecological issues, based on the notion that both nature and the economy can be enhanced through technological changes to production and consumption systems. This book takes a new look at this application of "ecological modernization" to contemporary urban political-ecological struggles. Considering policy processes around land-use in urban watersheds and pollution of air and soil in two disparate North American "global cities," it criticizes the dominant belief in the power of markets and experts to regulate environments to everyone’s benefit, arguing instead that civil political action by local constituencies can influence the establishment of beneficial policies.
The book emphasizes ‘subaltern’ environmental justice concerns as instrumental in shaping the policy process. Looking back to the 1990s—when ecological modernization began to emerge as a dominant approach to environmental policy and theory—Desfor and Keil examine four case studies: restoration of the Don River in Toronto, cleanup of contaminated soil in Toronto, regeneration of the Los Angeles River, and air pollution reduction in Los Angeles. In each case, they show that local constituencies can develop political strategies that create alternatives to ecological modernization. When environmental policies appear to have been produced through solely technical exercises, they warn, one must be suspicious about the removal of contention from the process.
In the face of economic and environmental processes that have been increasingly influenced by neo-liberalism and globalization, Desfor and Keil’s analysis posits that continuing modernization of industrial capitalist societies entails a measure of deliberate change to societal relationships with nature in cities. Their book shows that environmental policies are about much more than green capitalism or the technical mastery of problems; they are about how future urban generations live their lives with sustainability and justice.
In 1971, Canada became the first country to adopt an official policy of multiculturalism. Performing the Intercultural City explores how Toronto—a representative global city in this multicultural country—stages diversity through its many intercultural theater companies and troupes. The book begins with a theoretical introduction to theatrical interculturalism. Subsequent chapters outline the historical and political context within which intercultural performance takes place; examine the ways in which Indigenous, Filipino, and Afro-Caribbean Canadian theater has developed play structures based on culturally specific forms of expression; and explore the ways that intercultural companies have used intermediality, modernist form, and intercultural discourse to mediate across cultures. Performing the Intercultural City will appeal to scholars, artists, and the theater-going public, including those in theater and performance studies, urban studies, critical multiculturalism studies, diaspora studies, critical cosmopolitanism studies, critical race theory, and cultural studies.
Douglas Biklen closely examines the experiences of six families in which children with disabilities are full participants in family life in order to understand how people who have been labeled disabled might become full participants in the other areas of society as well. He focuses on the contradictions between what some families have achieved, what they want for their children, and what society and its social policies allow. He demonstrates how the principles of inclusion that govern the lives of these families can be extended to education, community life, and other social institutions.
The parents who tell their stories here have actively sought inclusion of their children in regular schools and community settings; several have children with severe or multiple disabilities. In discussing issues such as normalization, acceptance, complete schooling, circles of friends, and community integration, these parents describe the challenge and necessity of their children's "leading regular lives."
In the series Health, Society, and Policy, edited by Sheryl Ruzek and Irving Kenneth Zola.
Despite their twin positions as two of North America’s most iconic Italian neighborhoods, South Philly and Toronto’s Little Italy have functioned in dramatically different ways since World War II. Inviting readers into the churches, homes, and businesses at the heart of these communities, Staying Italian reveals that daily experience in each enclave created two distinct, yet still Italian, ethnicities.
As Philadelphia struggled with deindustrialization, Jordan Stanger-Ross shows, Italian ethnicity in South Philly remained closely linked with preserving turf and marking boundaries. Toronto’s thriving Little Italy, on the other hand, drew Italians together from across the wider region. These distinctive ethnic enclaves, Stanger-Ross argues, were shaped by each city’s response to suburbanization, segregation, and economic restructuring. By situating malleable ethnic bonds in the context of political economy and racial dynamics, he offers a fresh perspective on the potential of local environments to shape individual identities and social experience.
Because autism is an increasingly common diagnosis, North Americans are familiar with its symptoms and treatments. But what we know and think about autism is shaped by our social relationship to health, disease, and the medical system. In The Western Disease Claire Laurier Decoteau explores the ways that recent immigrants from Somalia to Canada and the US make sense of their children’s diagnosis of autism. Having never heard of autism before migrating to North America, they often determine that it must be a Western disease. Given its apparent absence in Somalia, they view it as Western in nature, caused by environmental and health conditions unique to life in North America.
Following Somali parents as they struggle to make sense of their children's illness and advocate for alternative care, Decoteau unfolds how complex interacting factors of immigration, race, and class affect Somalis’ relationship to the disease. Somalis’ engagement with autism challenges the prevailing presumption among Western doctors that their approach to healing is universal. Decoteau argues that centering an analysis on autism within the Somali diaspora exposes how autism has been defined and institutionalized as a white, middle-class disorder, leading to health disparities based on race, class, age, and ability. The Western Disease asks us to consider the social causes of disease and the role environmental changes and structural inequalities play in health vulnerability.
Toronto is a changing city that has been a source of reflection and inspiration to writers and artists whose work focuses on the conditions and prospects of human life. A city on the move, it demands policies and regulation, and it offers the pleasures and perils of the massive and the anonymous. As a site of study, the city is inherently multidisciplinary, with natural ties to history, geography, sociology, architecture, art history, literature, and many other fields.
World Film Locations: Toronto explores and reveals the relationship between the city and cinema using a predominately visual approach. The juxtaposition of the images used in combination with insightful essays helps to demonstrate the role that the city has played in a number of hit films, including Cinderella Man, American Psycho, and X-Men and encourages the reader to frame an understanding of Toronto and the world around us. The contributors trace Toronto’s emergence as an international city and demonstrate the narrative interests that it has continued to inspire among filmmakers, both Canadian and international.
With support from experts in Canadian studies, the book’s selection of films successfully shows the many facets of Toronto and also provides insider’s access to a number of sites that are often left out of scholarship on Toronto in films, such as the Toronto International Film Festival. The 2014 release of this attractive volume will be a particularly welcome addition to the international celebrations of the city’s 180th anniversary.