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Unravelling Encounters

Ethics, Knowledge, and Resistance under Neoliberalism

Caitlin Janzen, Donna Jeffery, and Kristin Smith, editors

Paper 300 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-77112-125-5

Release Date: April 2015

Online discount: 25%

$38.99  $29.24


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This multidisciplinary book brings together a series of critical engagements regarding the notion of ethical practice. As a whole, the book explores the question of how the current neo-liberal, socio-political moment and its relationship to the historical legacies of colonialism, white settlement, and racism inform and shape our practices, pedagogies, and understanding of encounters in diverse settings.

The contributors draw largely on the work of Sara Ahmed’s Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-Coloniality, each chapter taking up a particular encounter and unravelling the elements that created that meeting in its specific time and space. Sites of encounters included in this volume range from the classroom to social work practice and from literary to media interactions, both within Canada and internationally. Paramount to the discussions is a consideration of how relations of power and legacies of oppression shape the self and others, and draw boundaries between bodies within an encounter.

From a social justice perspective, Unravelling Encounters exposes the political conditions that configure our meetings with one another and inquires into what it means to care, to respond, and to imagine oneself as an ethical subject.

Caitlin Janzen is a Ph.D. student in sociology at York University. Her doctoral research focuses on women’s psychic responses to representations of violence against other(ed) women. Janzen’s past research is in the areas of violence, sexual exploitation of children, and sex work. Janzen is the co-author of articles that have appeared in Hypatia, Violence Against Women, and Journal of Progressive Human Services.

Donna Jeffery is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Victoria. Underpinning her work is this question: What explanatory frameworks do we draw on to explain our practice and our professional/personal identities? Jeffery has published recently in Ethics and Social Welfare, The Canadian Geographer, and Journal of Progressive Human Services.

Kristin Smith is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on neo-liberal restructuring and critical social work practice with perspective drawn from governmentality, critical race, post-colonial, queer, and feminist post-structural theories. She has authored and co-authored articles in Affilia, The Canadian Geographer, and British Journal of Social Work.