Policy and Practices

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Research Axis: Policy and Practices

The intersection of practice, policy and principle has particular significance in the study of women, gender and sexuality. The theoretical development of guiding principles informs the articulation of policies and governance frameworks, and both principle and policy demand the nourishment that comes from careful attention to concrete practices and experience. Policies must be interpreted, often through organizational practices, which impact on the lives of individuals, families, and social groups. Moreover, the distinction between policy and practice is not invariable or rigid. There is a need for research that explores the complex interconnections between social policies and organizational practices with particular attention to the construction and reproduction of relations of power and social location.

Drawing on the strengths of McGill faculty across various departments within Arts as well as across faculties and schools such as Law, Social Work and Education, the Institute will serve as a vital bridge between academic research, community-based organizations, and both governmental and non-governmental institutions. By fostering careful contemplation, rigorous debate, and dynamic interactions, these collaborations will help to produce sound policy recommendations that better serve the interests of women and their families in Québec and Canada. Situated in an English-language university in the dominantly francophone, ethnically diverse environment of Montréal, the Institute is well-positioned to explore different types of legal and policy environments and their relationship to key gender issues. Moreover, with the development of the proposed McGill Institute for Public Policy, we expect to benefit from new perspectives on public policy, services, and practices, and to contribute perspectives on women, gender and sexuality.

Topics for Working Groups

Families: Child welfare and protection, family law frameworks, family relations and resources over time or in particular sites, Diverse family structures and normative interactions; maternal and paternal leave, day care provision, education, and work-place programs.

Public Governance: Education, tax and wealth distribution, labour and employment, Government at multiple levels, the impact and agenda of Status of Women departments, poverty alleviation programs designed to benefit indigent women and their children, health administration. For example, work will be conducted on the lived experiences of older women receiving health and social care services within the context of public care, older women's perceptions and experiences of disability and frailty, home care services in Quebec and in the U.K., and organizational practice and 'modern' service delivery.

Citizenship: Social diversity, immigration, participatory processes, arbitration/mediation/access to justice, criminal justice, gender-based violence, racism and the intersection of racialized categories with gender, First Nations communities, women’s rights, identity-based rights, policy provisions for the inclusion of diverse ethnic and cultural grouping, including immigrants and indigenous women; gendered practices within these diverse groups, access to services among marginalised communities (gay and lesbian or "ethnoracial" minority women), social justice initiatives in health and straight-queer alliance building.

Corporate practice: Finance and investment, intellectual property, private sector organization, management practices, corporate responsibility.

We are in the process of confirming the interest in joining this axis of the following faculty:

Alia Al-Saji (Philosophy)
Bev Baines (Head, Women's Studies, Law, Queen's University)
Shari Brotman (Social Work)
Angela Campbell (Law)
Irwin Cotler (On leave) (Law)
Linda Davies (Social Work)
Myriam Denov (Social Work)
Elizabeth Gidengil (Political Science)
Amanda Grenier (Social Work)
Jody Heymann (Institute for Health and Social Policy and Political Science)
Alana Klein (Law)
Julia Krane (Social Work)
Céline Le Bourdais (Sociology)
Christopher Manfredi (Political Science)
Antonia Maioni (McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and Political Science)
Shauna van Praagh (Law)
Colleen Sheppard (Law)
Suzanne Staggenborg (Sociology)
Erin Strumpf (Economics, Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health)
Narendra Subramanian (Political Science)
Wendy Thomson (Social Work)
Amélie Quesnel-Vallée (Sociology and Epidemiology)