PhD Graduate Salina Abji on Anti-Border Movements and Gender Based Violence

Salina AbjiPhD Graduate Salina Abji has recently published an article in the international Feminist Journal of Politics. The article investigates postnational-feminist approaches to gender-based violence in the contemporary immigration context. The article examines how for some advocates, a postnational politics deeply informed their criticisms of state borders and restrictive immigration controls as fundamental sources of gendered and racialized violence.

Salina Abji obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2016. She is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Her research interests include social activism and the politics of race, gender and immigration status. She considers herself to be a critical sociologist and educator. She engages in feminist intersectional and community-based approaches to research and pedagogy.

We have published a link to the article here. The abstract can be viewed below.

Salina Abji (2018) Postnational acts of citizenship: how an anti-border politics is shaping feminist spaces of service provision in Toronto, Canada, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 20:4, 501-523.

Postnationalism has seen a modest resurgence in recent years as both a theory of citizenship and as a set of claims frequently articulated by anti-border movements. Yet the implications of postnationalism for feminist politics remain relatively under-theorized. Using interviews with feminist advocates in Toronto, Canada, this research examines how postnational challenges to state power are being mobilized in spaces of service provision addressing gender-based violence. I show how, for some advocates, a postnational politics deeply informed their critiques of state borders and restrictive immigration controls as fundamental sources of gendered and racialized violence. However, postnational approaches were also limited in offering few concrete alternatives to state protection from domestic or interpersonal violence, particularly for women with precarious immigration status. Significantly, it was through advocates’ everyday practices of service provision that they blueprinted an alternative feminist ethics of solidarity. I argue that these practices constitute postnational acts of citizenship, in so far as they attempt – albeit imperfectly – to de-border institutional spaces from within.

PhD Graduate Salina Abji on State Responsibility and Violence Against Women

Salina AbjiPhD Graduate Salina Abji published an article in Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society that analyzes the relationship between state power and women’s rights. She explores the political advocacy within the “Shelter | Sanctuary | Status” Campaign formed by feminist and migrant rights groups in protest of the searching of women’s shelters for migrants by the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Salina Abji obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2016. She is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Her research interests include social activism and the politics of race, gender and immigration status.

We have posted the citation and abstract for her article below. The full article is available via Project Muse.

Abji, Salina. 2016. “‘Because Deportation is Violence Against Women’: on the Politics of State Responsibility and Women’s Human Rights.” Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 23(4):483-507.

In 2011, Canadian authorities issued a directive allowing border guards to enter women’s shelters to deport “unauthorized” migrants, despite significant protests from civil society groups. This research analyzes the politics of state responsibility that are implicated in such contestations over women’s human rights. I show two variations in how advocates re-framed responsibility to address existing ambiguities in the law. Statist appeals reinforced the centrality of the state as a protector of women, including women without legal status. Postnational appeals, by contrast, challenged the very legitimacy of the state as a perpetrator of gendered violence through border enforcement and exclusionary citizenship.

Read the full article here.

PhD Candidate Salina Abji on Post-Nationalism and Migrant Rights

Salina AbjiIn an article published in Citizenship Studies, PhD Graduate Salina Abji analyzes the “No One Is Illegal” migrant rights movement in Canada to explore the limitations and opportunities of a post-nationalist framework. She argues that although post-nationalism is limited in its ability to address the concerns of non-status migrants, the conceptual framework is useful for challenging “normative nationalism” and providing alternative means for political participation and belonging.

Salina Abji obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2016. She is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University and her research interests include social activism and the politics of race, gender, and immigration status.

We have posted the citation and abstract of her article below. The full text is available online through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Abji, Salina. 2013. “Post-Nationalism Re-Considered: A Case Study of the ‘No One Is Illegal’ Movement in Canada.” Citizenship Studies, 17(3-4):322-338.

Studies of post-nationalism have declined considerably among citizenship scholars in recent decades, and have been largely ignored by social movement scholars in favour of more trans-national approaches. Using a case analysis of a migrant rights movement in Canada as evidence of a ‘post-national ethics in practice’, in this article I argue for a re-consideration of the usefulness of post-nationalism within current scholarship on precarious immigration status. Taking into account both the limitations and opportunities afforded by a post-national ethical framework, I examine how the movement uses a human rights framing in distinct ways to mobilize constituents, garner mainstream media attention, and effect changes to policy at the national and local level. My findings suggest that the use of human rights frames for these movements offers both risks and rewards; however, the benefits may outweigh the risks in cases in which the quality of exposure within mainstream narratives is enough to disrupt, even if momentarily, the pervasiveness of normative nationalism, opening up new spaces for reconfiguring citizenship at the local level.

Read the full article here.

Congratulations to the 11 PhD graduates of 2016/17

Convocation at Con HallThis year, eleven of our PhD students successfully defended their dissertations and graduated with their doctorates. Follow the careers of our PhD graduates by perusing our PhD alumni page. Congratulations this year go to:

Salina Abji

Salina’s dissertation was Emerging Citizenships: Efforts to Address Violence against Non-Status Women in Toronto and she was supervised by Anna Korteweg (supervisor), Patricia Landolt, and Judith Taylor. Salina is currently a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Carleton University. Read more about Salina on her website or here.

Holly Campeau

Holly’s dissertation was Policing in unsettled times: An Analysis of Culture in the Police Organization. She was supervised by Ron Levi (supervisor), Candace Kruttschnitt, and Josée Johnston. Holly will start a new position as Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Alberta this fall. Read more about Holly here.

Steven Cook

Steven’s dissertation was A Comparative Analysis of the Violent Victimization Experiences of Street and School Youth. He was supervised by Julian Tanner (supervisor), David Brownfield, and Scot Wortley (U of T Criminology). Steven is currently a lecturer in quantitative methods and criminology at Cardiff University.

Kim de Laat

Kim’s dissertation was Mesa-Level Influences on Creativity and her committee was Shyon Baumann (supervisor), Vanina Leschziner, and Damian Phillips (Columbia Business School).  Kim is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Gender + the Economy in the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. Read more about Kim on her website.

Jennifer Elrick

Jennifer’s dissertation was Family/Class: State-Based Boundary Work around Immigration and National Identity in Germany and Canada Since 1955. She was supervised by Anna Korteweg (supervisor), Patricia Landolt, and Jeffrey Reitz. Jennifer is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at McGill University.

Nathan Innocente

Nathan’s dissertation was Organizational Risk and Mortgage Fraud. He was supervised by Sandy Welsh (supervisor), Ronit Dinovitzer, and Kelly Hannah-Moffat (U of T Criminology). He is currently an Assistant Professor (teaching stream) at the University of Toronto, Mississauga. Read more about Nathan here.

Emily Laxer

Emily wrote her dissertation on Democratic Struggles and the National Identity Formation: The Politics of Secularism in France and Quebec. She completed her degree under the supervision of Anna Korteweg (supervisor), Monica Boyd, and Erik Schneiderhan. Emily is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Diana Miller

Diana’s dissertation was titled Gendering Cultural Fields. She was supervised by Cynthia Cranford (supervisor), Vanina Leschziner, and Bonnie Erickson. Diana works as the Data Analysis Coordinator for York Region. Read more about Diana here.

Joanne Nowak

Joanne’s dissertation was Moving Beyond the Lone Skilled Migrant: Establishing a Social Model of Skilled Migration and Integration Through a Case Study of Ghanaian Nurses. She was supervised by Cynthia Cranford (supervisor), Patricia Landolt, and Monica Boyd. Joanne is the academic coordinator for the Blum Centre at the University of Californa, Santa Barbara.

Agata Piekosz

Agata wrote her dissertation on Polish Catholic Priests in Canada and Ireland: Migration, Leadership, and the Mobility of Strangers. She was supervised by Anna Korteweg and Y. Michal Bodemann (co-supervisor), and Judith Taylor. Agata is currently an instructor at King’s University College.

Siyue Tian

Siyue’s dissertation was Living Arrangements and Intergenerational Supports Among Immigrant and Canadian-born Seniors. She worked under the supervision of Monica Boyd (supervisor), Cynthia Cranford, and Markus Schafer. Siyue is currently an analyst with Statistics Canada.

Salina Abji awarded Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award

salina-abjiCongratulations to Salina Abji, whose dissertation was recently awarded the 2016 Dennis William Magill Canada Research Award for best dissertation or published paper on Canadian society by a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. Salina defended her dissertation, entitled Emerging Logics of Citizenship: Activism in Response to Precarious Migration and Gendered Violence in an Era of Securitization, in the fall of 2016.

In their assessment of Dr Abji’s dissertation, members of the awards committee (Professors Robert Brym, Phil Goodman, John Hannigan, Ann Mullen and Jack Veugelers) wrote as follows:

We consider Dr. Abji’s work a clearly written and thoroughly researched reassessment of postnationalist theory – the idea that a growing number of people are coming to think of themselves and others as members of a global community enjoying rights that extend to all of humanity.

It accomplishes this task by demonstrating that Canadian immigration activists and federal employees increasingly used postnational human rights ideas to inform their actions during the years of the Harper government. Activists did so as they blocked immigration authorities from entering schools, women’s shelters and other institutions to investigate and deport nonstatus migrants. Some state employees followed suit by reacting negatively to secularization measures and questioning the legitimacy of citizenship rights as narrowly defined by the government.

In short, Dr. Abji’s ethnographic fieldwork, qualitative interviews and discourse analysis show that postnationalism provides both theoretical leverage and activist guidance.

Salina is currently a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at Carleton University.

U of T at the 2016 ASA

University of Toronto Sociology at the Annual Meeting of the 2016 American Sociological Association

Our Sociology faculty members and graduate students are very active with the American Sociological Association, with over 60 of them appearing in this year’s program either as presented or an organizer of a panel. See the program for more information. Here are some of the highlights:

Saturday, August 20

Irene Boeckmann

Fatherhood and Breadwinning: Race and Class Differences in First-time Fathers’ Long-term Employment Patterns

Monica Boyd; Naomi Lightman

Gender, Nativity and Race in Care Work: The More Things Change….

Clayton Childress

I Don’t Make Objects, I Make Projects: Selling Things and Selling Selves in Contemporary Art-making

Jennifer Jihye Chun

Globalizing the Grassroots: Care Worker Organizing and the Redefinition of 21st Century Labour Politics

Paulina Garcia del Moral

Feminicidio, Transnational Human Rights Advocacy and Transnational Legal Activism

Phil Goodman

Conservative Politics, Sacred Crows, and Sacrificial Lambs: The Role of ‘Evidence’ During Canada’s Prison Farm Closures

Josee Johnston

Spitting that Real vs. Keeping It Misogynistic: Hip-Hop, Class, and Masculinity in New Food Media

Andrew Miles

Measuring Automatic Cognition: Practical Advances for Sociological Research Using Dual-process Models

Atsushi Narisada

Palatable Unjust Desserts: How Procedural Justice Weakens the Pain of Perceived Pay Inequity

David Nicholas Pettinicchio

The Universalizing Effects of Unionism: Policy, Inequality and Disability

Markus H. Schafer

Social Networks and Mastery after Driving Cessation: A Gendered Life Course Approach

Lawrence Hamilton Williams

Active Intuition: The Patterned Spontaneity of Decision-making

 

Sunday, August 21

Sida Liu

The Elastic Ceiling: Gender and Professional Career in Chinese Courts

Jonathan Tomas Koltai; Scott Schieman; Ronit Dinovitzer

Status-based Stress Exposure and Well-being in the Legal Profession

Andrew Miles

Turf Wars of Truly Understanding Culture? Moving Beyond Isolation and Importation to Genuine Cross-disciplinary Engagement

Melissa A. Milkie

Time Deficits with Children: The Relationship to Mothers’ and Fathers’ Mental and Physical Health

Diana Lee Miller

Sustainable and Unsustainable Semi-Professionalism: Grassroots Music Careers in Folk and Metal

Ito Peng

Care and Migration Policies in Japan and South Korea

Scott Schieman; Atsushi Narisada

Under-rewarded Boss: Gender, Workplace Power, and the Distress of Perceived Pay Inequity

 

Monday, August 22

Salina Abji

Because Deportation is Violence Against Women: On the Politics of State Responsibility and Women’s Human Rights

Holly Campeau

The Right Way, the Wrong Way, and the Blueville War: Policing, Standards, and Cultural Match

Bahar Hashemi

Canadian Newspaper Representations of Family violence among Immigrant Communities: Analyzing Shifts Over Time

Vanina Leschziner

The American Fame Game: Academic Status and Public Renown in Post-war Social Sciences

Ron Levi; Ioana Vladescu

The Structure of Claims after Atrocity: Justifications, Values, and Proposals from the Holocaust Swiss Banks Litigation

Patricia Louie

Whose Body Matters? Representations of Race and Skin Colour in Medical Textbooks

William Magee; Laura Upenieks

Supervisory Level and Anger About Work

Maria M. Majerski

The Economic Integration of Immigrants: Social Networks, Social Capital, and the Impact of Gender

Melissa A. Milkie

You Must Work Hard: Changes in U.S. Adults’ Values for Children 1986-2012

Jean-Francois Nault

Education, Religion, and Identity in French Ontario: A Case Study of French-language Catholic School Choice

Merin Oleschuk; Blair Wheaton

The Relevance of Women’s Income on Household Gender Inequality Across Class and National Context

David Nicholas Pettinicchio

Punctuated Incrementalism: How American Disability Rights Policymaking Sheds Light on Institutional Continuity and Change

 

Tuesday, Aug. 23

Katelin Albert

Making the Classroom, Making Sex Ed: A School-based Ethnography of Ontario’s Sexual Health Classrooms

Catherine Man Chuen Cheng

Constructing Immigrant Citizen-subjects in Exceptional States: Governmentality and Chinese Marriage Migrants in Taiwan and HongKong

Hae Yeon Choo

Maternal Guardians: Intimate Labor, Migration, and the Pursuit of Gendered Citizenship in South Korea

Bonnie H. Erickson

Multiple Pathways to Ethnic Social Capitals

  1. Omar Faruque

Confronting Capital: The Limits of Transnational Activism and Human Rights-based CSR Initiatives

Elise Maiolino

I’m not Male, not White, Want to Start There?: Identity Work in Toronto’s Mayoral Election

Jaime Nikolaou

Commemorating Morgentaler? Reflections on Movement Leadership, 25 Years Later

Kristie O’Neill

Traditional Beneficiaries: Trade Bans, Exemptions, and Morality Embodied in Diets

Matthew Parbst; Blair Wheaton

The Buffering Role of the Welfare State on SES differences in Depression

Luisa Farah Schwartzman

Brazilian Lives Matter, and what Race and the United States Got to do With it

Daniel Silver

Visual Social Thought

Laura Upenieks

Beyond America? Cross-national Contexts and Religious versus Secular Membership Effects on Self-rated Health

Barry Wellman

Older Adults Networking On and Off Digital Media: Initial Findings from the Fourth East York Study

Blair Wheaton; Patricia Joy Louie

A New Perspective on Maternal Employment and Child Mental Health: A Cautionary Tale

Tony Huiquan Zhang

Weather Effects on Social Movements: Evidence from Washington D.C. and New York City, 1960-1995