Is it time to start a ruckus and resist the fear?

How have we been so easily persuaded to abandon our livelihoods and embrace isolation with barely a question?

Is it time to start a ruckus and resist the fear?No one enjoys a holding pattern. Not when planes circle and wait to land and not today, while we wait for a virus to pass. Yet this is exactly the place most of us have found ourselves over the past six weeks. We’re restlessly awaiting the moment when health and political authorities loosen restrictions and…

Can we bring our disaffected youth back into the fold?

Cynicism and class divisions are leading to cultural insecurity, reducing tolerance and compassion. Something must change

Can we bring our disaffected youth back into the fold?The international landscape is in unprecedented flux, challenging assumptions of social, political and economic progress for youth everywhere. Globalization, technological advances, demographic pressures from global migration, sectarian and ideological conflicts, and economic disparities have all affected the cohesiveness of societies. Shifting unemployment patterns and doubts about the sustainability of social security systems and the environment…

Come on, get happy: if a survey says we are, it must be true

Apparently, as you get older you get happier. Sclerotic, arthritic, calcified, deaf, blind, stupid and poor equals happy? Where do I sign up?

Come on, get happy: if a survey says we are, it must be trueIn a few years, people my age will get back pain, clogged arteries, brittle bones, hearing loss, cataracts, arthritis, heart disease, dementia and schizophrenia. What they won’t get, apparently, is unhappy about it. Citing a recent national survey, Canadian Press reports that older people in this country are generally more buoyant than younger ones. In…

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twist

Sociologists have convinced us to think of people solely in terms of their census categories and their victim credentials

Sympathizing with minorities, with a twistWhen an acquaintance accused me of being unsympathetic to minorities, I was indignant. I’m a member of a much-maligned minority ethnic group, with which I identify strongly. And both of my children are visible minorities: my son was adopted from Thailand and my daughter was adopted from China. In this cultural moment, to be unsympathetic…

How to address social inequality without an inheritance tax

Ideas about taxing, restricting or abolishing your inheritance have been floated by western social thinkers for centuries

How to address social inequality without an inheritance taxShould Canadians be taxed on inheritance? The question is increasingly being asked, but the answer is not straight-forward. This discussion is inherently linked to maintaining inequality from one generation to another – and basically to a skewing of the playing field of life from the start. Such debates aren’t new. In fact, they centre on…