The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (UBC Press 2017)
About the Book:
This book is the first comprehensive, data-based study of racialized and Indigenous faculty members’ experiences in Canadian universities. The university is often regarded as a bastion of liberal democracy where equity and diversity are promoted and racism doesn’t exist. In reality, the university still excludes many people and is a site of racialization that is subtle, complex, and sophisticated. While some studies do point to the persistence of systemic barriers to equity in higher education, in-depth analyses of racism, racialization, and Indigeneity in the academy are more notable for excluding racialized and Indigenous professors.
Challenging the myth of equity in higher education, this book brings together leading scholars who scrutinize what universities have done and question the effectiveness of their equity programs. The authors draw on a rich body of survey data and interviews to examine the experiences of racialized faculty members across Canada who – despite diversity initiatives in their respective institutions – have yet to see changes in everyday working conditions. They also make important recommendations as to how universities can address racialization and fulfill the promise of equity in higher education.
A landmark study on racism in Canadian universities, The Equity Myth shows how the goal of achieving equity in higher education has been consistently promised, but never realized for racialized and Indigenous faculty members. It also shows that policies and diversity initiatives undertaken so far have only served to deflect criticism of a system that is doing little to change itself.
About the Author(s):
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.
"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 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
"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