Getting Started on Social Analysis in Canada, Fourth Edition

Getting Started on Social Analysis in Canada, Fourth Edition

Fourth edition

By Jacqueline M. Davies, Jamie Swift, Robert Clarke and Michael Czerny


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What’s happening behind the scenes of our everyday lives? Why are there winners and losers in society, haves and have-nots? How do aspects of difference–race, class, gender, age–shape our identities, and our experiences? How do structural forces influence local realities?Getting Started begins with a morning cup of coffee and visits the supermarket and the drive-through, the family room and the Internet. Along the way it unpacks a wide range of contemporary social issues. Countering information overload and overwhelming problems, the social analysis approach builds insight and confidence. In a world where individual solutions are increasingly commonplace, Getting Started promotes collective action and social justice.Preserving its unique approach to social literacy, this completely revised and updated edition offers a wealth of new statistics, examples, and resources. Chapters on globalization, work, and new technology address momentous changes of the past decade.

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The newest edition of Getting Started on Social Analysis is as up-to-date as the Romanow Report. And it remains what it has always been: a well written and plain-talking primer on social issues and social analysis which has won approval not only from the church-based social justice groups for which it was originally designed but from University professors looking for an alternative to Introductory textbooks that strive to dryly survey every institution in society. At the same time, the newest edition of Getting Started benefits from a notable increase in the depth of theorizing about social issues and a richer discussion of social theory. University readers familiar with the book will find an updated version of what they have always liked in this unique and venerable book, and a pleasant surprise in the increased attention give to the analytical needs of those using the book to spark the “sociological imagination” of their students.

– Dr. Michael Clow, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, N.B.

Providing students with a basic framework of social justice is a daunting task in today’s world, given the accelerated nature-and the urgency-of the global and local issues that we are faced with. The fourth edition of Getting Started on Social Analysis in Canada accomplishes just that-it helps to promote a sense of agency to readers, by providing them with the tools to understand what is happening around us, and to work towards social change.

– Bonita Lawrence*, Queen’s University

An excellent text for introducing students to important social issues in Canada while, simultaneously, helping them develop their critical analysis skills.

– Dr. Vicki L. Nygaard, Sociology, University of Victoria, author of Social Problems in a Diverse Society

Excellent, just what we have been waiting for…With updated facts and figures, this fourth edition builds on the successful social analysis approach of the earlier editions. The expanded resource list, now including websites is an excellent help. Getting Started is the best introduction to contemporary social issues and working for social justice in Canada available today.

– Bob McKeon, Theology and Social Ethics, Newman Theological College, University of Alberta Edmonton

Finally an introduction to sociology textbook that will challenge my students to think critically but taking it a step further and challenging them to take action to realize a more just and equitable society. It addresses key social issues and problems in clear language, topics of concern that students and other Canadians face today. Excellent resources and discussion questions.

– E. Wilma van der Veen, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Dept. of Sociology and Criminology, St.Mary’s University, Halifax, NS

This new edition successfully brings together in one handy package topical issues of serious concern to activists and newcomers to social movement activities. It contains the necessary analytical tools for understanding our world so we can change it. Teachers and facilitators whose passion is involving others in a political project for social justice and change will find this an invaluable resource.

– Maureen MacDonald, MLA, Nova Scotia; Professor, The Maritime School of Social Work at Dalhousie


Chapter 1 Welcome to Social Analysis
Part I Issues in the Everyday
Chapter 2 In Sickness and in Health
Chapter 3 Housing in Crisis
Chapter 4 Lost in the Supermarket
Chapter 5 The Brave New World of Work
Chapter 6 Social Analysis Again
Part II The World Around Us
Chapter 7 Our Planet Earth
Chapter 8 New Technology
Chapter 9 Globalization and Development
Chapter 10 Media and Ideology
Part III People and Perspectives
Chapter 11 Aging–Out of Sight
Chapter 12 Aboriginal Peoples
Chapter 13 Women
Part IV Conclusion
Chapter 14 We Have Just Begun