A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada: The Long Road to Apology

From the Editor's preface: "Eric Taylor Woods’ analysis of the radically shifting relationship between Anglo-Canadian core groups and native peoples on the Canadian periphery provides a vigorous, cultural-sociological challenge to conventional postcolonial theorizing. Under the influence of Foucault, Said, and Bourdieu, postcolonial writings instrumentalized the relationship between dominator and dominated, focusing on power and neglecting the independent power of cultural evaluation. Arguing that cultural structures mediate relationships of power, Woods reminds us that Christian missionaries not only othered native peoples but insisted on their shared humanity as well. This solidarizing aspiration stimulated a range of Anglo-Canadian social policies that aimed to foster assimilation. When less nativist, more multicultural orientations emerged in the 1960s, Canada’s core groups began decades of self-criticism, a process that became particularly harsh with the public exposure of predatory sexual practices at the Anglican Church’s widespread missionary schools. Woods interprets this surprising critical turn as an explosion of perpetrator trauma, drawing links to Germans facing their involvement in the Holocaust. While giving the agency and courage of aboriginal activists, intellectuals, and artists full due, Woods sympathetically portrays the emotionally searing remorse of Anglican core groups, illuminating its moral basis in an idealized Canadian civil sphere that, despite its manifest contradictions, aspired to equality and solidarity for all. Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada speaks to central issues across a wide range of fields, from sociology to political science, from aboriginal studies to postcolonial theory, from theology to Canadian studies, and to core theoretical issues in cultural sociology and trauma theory." Pg vii.

Woods, Eric Taylor
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Woods, Eric Taylor. A Cultural Sociology of Anglican Mission and the Indian Residential Schools in Canada: The Long Road to Apology. New York- Palgrave Macmillan, 2016