Author Archives: Tom Abel

Gentrification and the urban values aristocracy: A response to Marcus Gee

What use does a 70-year-old Italian housewife have for a brewpub? Does anyone care? She may enjoy a cold one at the end of a hard day as much as the next gal. But at the cost of the 30-year-old neighborhood … Continue reading

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Trepidation on our doorstep: Free Lulu

A child and her family – originally forced to flee their native Hungary for fear of persecution – face rejection and marginalization again, this time in their new home. They thought that they had left racism and arbitrariness behind, along … Continue reading

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Rob Ford, a homeless shelter, and the discipline of political discourse

After working at a men’s shelter for five months, I find myself in a varied state of having 1) confirmed some of my existing assumptions about homelessness, 2) been proven wrong about an equal number of things, and 3) discovered … Continue reading

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Ukraine: Community beyond imperialism

A few weeks ago, I spilled out some thoughts on the necessity of recognizing ethno-cultural difference. If you were so gracious as to have made a dent in the post (it was a bit on the long side), you’d have … Continue reading

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Street-involved youth: Citizens of the city?

In my last post, I spoke briefly about the emergence of a “consumer citizenship” that is increasingly defining the way that people see themselves within political community. It’s a poignant example of the way that the concept of citizenship is … Continue reading

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Where Black Hawks mix with Bruno Mars: The Super Bowl is way more than a game

I’m sure my friends and I weren’t the only ones who began to zone out by the third quarter of last weekend’s Super Bowl matchup. True to the NFL final’s reputation as a generally lopsided and boring affair, it quickly became … Continue reading

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Recognition and unity: A challenge for the devout

After five years in Toronto – much of it living and working with refugees and other newcomers – I’ve discovered that a great tension exists within diverse communities between the desire to express unity, and the need to preserve uniqueness. … Continue reading

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