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Submitted by sandra.grills2 on Tue, 01/12/2016 - 11:18am

Recent News from the Department

We invite sociology students to participate in a group study program that will take place in Mexico during the spring semester of 2019. The program will include two courses at both the senior undergraduate and graduate level: Social Issues in Mexico, and Inter-Cultural Practice: Collaboration for Social Justice. Students will spend about two weeks in Mexico City, and about one week in a rural area in the State of Puebla.

The Embassy of Sudan in Canada has offered Dr. Amal Madibbo an Award of Recognition on Sept 1, 2018 in Ottawa. It is in appreciation of her academic contributions to Sudan and fostering relations between the University of Calgary and universities in Sudan. 

Dr. Pallavi Banerjee was invited to participate in an 'by invitation only pre-ASA symposium' by the Council on Contemporary Families called Gender Matters.
Only 10 pieces were accepted for this symposium. To read the briefing paper prepared by Pallavi Banerjee, University of Calgary, for the Council on Contemporary Families, please visit the link below.

Dr. George Kurian (1928-2018)

Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary

              George began life with ten siblings on a plantation in India owned by his father. He was encouraged by his family to further his education and attended the University of Bombay where he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts, Economics, History, Political Science, English and Malayalam Language. After graduation, George took a trip to London, where he met some students from the Hague who encouraged him to apply to the Institute of Social Studies. He did so and was admitted in 1953 and went on to obtain a Master of Arts degrees: Sociology and Economics, in 1955 and a Master of Social Sciences in Sociology (1956).  After returning to India and rather than manage the agricultural properties in Kerala State, he returned to Europe in 1958 to obtain his PhD in Sociology at the State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands in 1961.  His dissertation, The Indian Family in Transition: A Case Study of Kerala Syrian Christians, was internationally recognized and was published that same year by Mouton & Co.

             After completing his doctoral program, Dr. Kurian returned to India and took a position at an Agricultural college, Hyderabad in the Rural Sociology Department.  In 1963, Dr. Kurian took a position as Lecturer and Acting Head in the Department of Asian Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.  He was also attached to the Centre for Asian Studies.  After three years of teaching at Victoria University, Dr. Kurian moved to Canada and became an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Calgary. He remained at the University of Calgary for the remainder of his career although he was a visiting professor at the University of Kerala in 1980.  He was named professor in 1976 and was given the title of Emeritus Professor when he retired in 1995.

Dr. Jean E. Wallace, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and a co-principal investigator with Carr on this study. Carr and Wallace met more than two years ago when they collaborated to create a graduate level course in mixed methods research at UCalgary. Wallace was studying job stress, coping and mental health of veterinarians at the time, and the two immediately found parallels in their shared interest of human-animal bonds and coping with chronic pain.

“We know that living with chronic pain can lead to depression but also if you’re depressed, you’re going to view the experience of living with chronic pain with a more negative light as well,” says Wallace. “Even if we can’t reduce the pain, if we can reduce depression and improve mental health, there are benefits in terms of looking at how you get up in morning and want to do things. Some people we interviewed were suicidal; they were thinking about taking their own lives but what stopped them was having a dog and having to care for that creature. Having a dog is so central to giving them a meaning and purpose.”

Dr. Madibbo has partnered with four Dutch professors to turn their individual one-off volunteer teaching opportunities into a more established winter school. Together, these professors are teaching classes with topics ranging from sociology, anthropology and medicine, to Indigenous knowledge with a focus on conflict resolution. This group is working with universities in Sudan with the goal of tailoring their expertise to what is needed by the institutions. Madibbo often focuses her teaching on research methodologies for new professors and graduate students

On April 18, the Students’ Union honoured 39 faculty members, instructors, and teaching assistants for their commitment to student success, at its annual Teaching Excellence Awards ceremony. The SU’s campus-wide recognition program gives undergraduate students the chance to weigh in on which instructors and teaching assistants have made a lasting, positive impression in the classroom over the past year. All nominees and winners are determined entirely based on student feedback.

Law and Society student Ira Adam wins a PURE award for research on rehabilitation and social inclusion in Canada

Congratulations to Law and Society student Ira Adam, who has won a Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE) award for 2018. 

Working with Dr. Ted McCoy, Ira will undertake a project called “Rehabilitation and Social Inclusion in Early Modern Canada.” This work is Ira’s first steps toward an investigation into the history of rehabilitation and the multiple ways it worked toward social inclusion. The project will bring together the histories of disability, criminal justice parole, and hospitals and mental asylums between the years 1880-1920. 

Dr. Abdie Kazemipur receives The 2018 National Metropolis Researcher Award

The Canadian National Metropolis Project – a network of Canadian scholars, policy-makers, and NGOs that work on the issue of immigration and immigrant integration in Canada – has selected Dr. Abdie Kazemipur as the recipient of the 2018 Metropolis Researcher Award. Dr. Kazemipur is Professor of sociology and Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Calgary. 

The Metropolis Award was in recognition of Dr. Kazemipur’s extensive contributions to the field of immigration research and policy-making in Canada for the past 20 years. Due to these contributions, he was appointed, in 2012, as the Stephen Jarislowsky Research Chair in Culture Change and Immigration at Memorial University; a position whose mandate was to conduct academic research, educate the public, and inform policy-makers in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador on issues related to the integration of immigrants and the management of cultural diversity. As of 2017, he has been serving as the Chair of Ethnic Studies at the University of Calgary. He is currently one of 12 co-investigators on a Canada-wide SSHRC Partnership Grant and the Child and Youth Refugee Research Coalition.

 

In the relatively short time since his first academic position in 2000, Dr. Kazemipur has published 8 books (plus one more in-progress), 28 refereed articles, 3 book chapters, and has made many presentations at professional and community meetings, among other things. These works have been very influential in the field. The findings of his 1st book, The New Poverty in Canada: Ethnic Groups and Ghetto Neighbourhoods (2000), for instance, found their way to the headlines in several Canadian newspapers – The Globe and Mail, LaPresse, and The Toronto Star – and was also adopted as a standard text in several sociology courses across the country. His 7th book, The Muslim Question in Canada: A Story of Segmented Integration (2014, UBC Press), received the 2015 prestigious John Porter Award by Canadian Sociological Association. In addition to these academic contributions, Dr. Kazemipur has also engaged extensively in public, media, and policy debates, as well as in the international research on various issues related to immigration in Canada. Interviews with, and coverage of his works, could be found in Lethbridge Herald, Vancouver Sun, National Post, Calgary radio station CHQR770, Global TV, and Russia Today TV). He is also involved in research on socio-cultural trends in the Middle-East, and has served as the founding academic director of two Statistics Canada Research Data Centres (in Lethbridge and Memorial).

On March 29th 2018, students enrolled in Sociology of Homelessness (SOCI 401.44) once again presented the results of their semester-long research in MacEwan Hall to the University of Calgary community. In their research, students explored a variety of topics, for example:

  • public, political and academic discourses of homelessness
  • the impact of colonialism and intergenerational trauma on Indigenous people’s experiences of homelessness
  • social factors that put first generation immigrants, especially visible minorities, at risk of experiencing homelessness
  • homelessness as a gendered experience
  • causes and consequences of youth homelessness
  • the experiences of LGBTQ2+ youth experiencing homelessness
  • parenting while homeless
  • the impact of homelessness on children’s educational outcomes
  • the intersection of health/mental health challenges and homelessness
  • the criminalization of homelessness and harm reduction approaches, and
  • efforts to end homelessness, including the Housing First approach.

The goal of the poster event was to raise awareness for the causes and consequences of homelessness in Canada, and to present potential solutions. In conjunction with the poster event, Era Rana and Hannan Sobh organized a fundraiser, collecting socks and underwear as well as over $300 in cash, which will be donated to the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary. In addition, Brittany Carlyon collecting menstrual products which will be donated to Alpha House Society.

The event was made possible by the hard work and dedication of students enrolled in the course. We would like to thank the Department of Sociology, the Sociology Student Association, and The Mustard Seed UofC chapter for their support in organizing and facilitating the event.

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