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The Equity Myth


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The Equity Myth will be an eye-opener for those who have not given much thought to the dynamics of racism, race, and racialization in a systemically white ivory tower. -- Augie Fleras, professor, Department of Sociology, University of Waterloo, and author of Unequal Relations: A Critical Introduction to the Politics of Race, Ethnic, and Aboriginal Dynamics in Canada This compelling and important text is the first of its kind in Canada. It provides rigorous and informative investigations of the status, representation, and everyday lived experiences of racialized and Indigenous scholars in English-speaking Canadian universities ... I recommend this book not only for scholars but also for administrators serious about equity and institutional change. -- Annette Henry, David Lam Chair in Multicultural Education and Professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education and the Social Justice Institute, University of British Columbia The Equity Myth will make a lasting contribution as a benchmark study in its field. It is one of the most comprehensive and thorough assessments of racism in university settings to date and is of international significance. -- Ian Law, Professor, Racism and Ethnicity Studies, University of Leeds, and co-editor of Institutional Racism in Higher Education

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments1 Introduction: Setting the Context2 Representational Analysis: Comparing Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia 3 Differences in Representation and Employment Income of Racialized University Professors in Canada4 Academic Production, Reward, and Perceptions of Racialized Faculty Members5 "Would Never Be Hired These Days": The Precarious Work Situation of Racialized and Indigenous Faculty Members6 The Everyday World of Racialized and Indigenous Faculty Members in Canadian Universities7 "You Know Why You Were Hired, Don't You?" Expectations and Challenges in University Appointments8 Shifting Terrains: A Picture of the Institutionalization of Equity in Canadian Universities9 Mechanisms to Address Inequities in Canadian Universities: The Performativity of Ineffectiveness10 Disciplinary Silences: Race, Indigeneity, and Gender in the Social Sciences11 A Dirty Dozen: Unconscious Race and Gender Biases in the Academy12 Conclusion: Challenging the MythAppendix: List of Canadian Universities ReviewedNotes; References; Index

About the Author

Frances Henry, FRSC, is a professor emerita of anthropology at York University.Enakshi Dua is the director of the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies at York University. Carl E. James, FRSC, teaches in the Faculty of Education and in the Graduate Program in Sociology at York University. Audrey Kobayashi, FRSC, is a professor of geography at Queen's University, Kingston.Peter Li, FRSC, is a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Saskatchewan.Howard Ramos is the associate dean of research in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and a professor of sociology at Dalhousie University.Malinda S. Smith is a professor of political science at the University of Alberta.


[G]roundbreaking new research led by York University Professor Emeritus Frances Henry puts Canadian universities under the microscope. This new inquiry ... shows that racialized and Indigenous faculty are low in numbers and even lower in terms of power, prestige and influence compared to non-racialized [white, male] counterparts within the university -- Megan Mueller, Manager, research communications, Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation * York University *

The Equity Myth brings to the surface tensions that racialized faculty widely experience but seldom formally discuss in their workplaces. These include pay inequity, unequal hiring processes, a lack of visibility for racialized faculty in the professoriate, Euro-centric curricula and racial discrimination.Until now, those tensions have been felt only in the abstract or anecdotally. Statistics Canada does not collect data on racialized minorities as part of the data it compiles on faculty and students at Canadian universities; nor do provincial governments collect such information. There has been recent change on this front from the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, both of which have announced in the past year that they would start collecting race-based data about their students. But no data exists on the effectiveness of university employment equity policies or policies against discrimination, despite their ubiquity across Canadian campuses.

-- Jackie Wong * University Affairs *
The Equity Myth paints a bleak picture in which the hegemonic whiteness and patriarchy of the institution show remarkable resilience through lip service and tokenism. [...]On the other hand, it recommends possible concrete solutions[...]a must-read for anyone interested in the social sciences, in discrimination, or simply in being decent and well-informed human beings. -- Sylvie Vrackx * Canadian Literature *

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