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From the Latin meaning to act beyond the scope of powers. Government powers in Canada are distributed between the federal and provincial governments; each government then must act within its own power. If provinces pass criminal law, for example, this would be ruled ultra vires since criminal law is an exclusive federal power .

A term similar in use to Marx's concept of Lumpenproletariat. A group that is not in a regular economic or social relationship with the rest of the community. Refers to the chronically unemployed, those who live on the proceeds of petty crime, panhandlers, or bag ladies. American sociologists use this term since a large underclass is thought to pose a threat to the stability of society because they are not adequately connected to the institutional and cultural regulation that is experienced by most social members.

See informal economy.

Since 1961 Canada has had a Uniform Crime Reporting System developed by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police. This system is designed to provide a measure of reliability for crime statistics through providing police agencies with a standardized set of procedures for collecting and reporting crime information.

Most social research looks for patterns when comparing ‘things’ one to another. The things that researchers are comparing or examining are referred to as the units of analysis, or the units to be analyzed. The most frequent unit of analysis is the individual, suggesting that researchers look for patterns among a collection (perhaps a sample) of individuals. Research can also be conducted in which a pattern is sought among a collection of groups; the group would be the unit of analysis. For example, like Durkheim, one might try to determine what social factors are linked to the variation in suicide rates among nations or regions. One can also look for patterns among things like newspaper stories, advertisements, a category of social interaction, social events, or speech utterances. In this case the unit of analysis would be what Earl Babbie has called social artifacts.

Those residents of the United States who remained loyal to the British Crown during the American war of independence and fled to Canada. Approximately 40, 000 émigrés arrived in Canada and most settled in Nova Scotia, although some 7000 relocated in Quebec to provide the first substantial British population in the province. The attitudes and political philosophy of these new settlers are seen as significant for understanding the subsequent development of Canada. See: CONSTITUTIONAL ACT (1791) / .

See: Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Following the Second World War and the horrific experiences of that struggle, many nations set to creating the United Nations. The original Charter of the United Nations contained a general statement on human rights. The need for a more detailed and substantial statement on human rights was seen and a Commission was established to create such a document. This commission wrote the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (drafted largely by a Canadian)which was adopted by General Assembly of the United Nation on December 10, 1948. This document was described as humanity's response to the death camps of the Nazis, the countless refugees and the tortured prisoners-of-war. In 1966 the United Nations adopted two further documents on human rights: the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These covenants contain many of the rights asserted in the Universal Declaration but they differ in that they are legally binding on those nations signing the covenants. The first of these covenants declares that everyone has the right to: life; freedom of thought; equal treatment in the courts; freedom of assembly; and no one shall be subject to torture, slavery or forced labour. The second declares that everyone has the right to: the enjoyment of just and favorable work conditions; to form trade unions; an adequate standard of living; education; and to take part in cultural life and enjoy the progress of science. In 1989 a third covenant was added, the Convention of the Rights of the Child. These four documents together comprise what is call the International Bill of Rights.

A philosophy concerning the provision of the benefits of the welfare state which declares that all citizens have access regardless of their need. For example, all citizens receive the same access to health care in Canada, regardless of their income. The underlying principle is that less powerful citizens can be more easily deprived of benefits, or benefits can be more easily reduced, if they are not received by most people in the population. In recent years the principle of universality has been seriously eroded in Canada. The baby bonus, once given to mothers of all children, has been replaced with a child tax credit which gives income to mothers on the basis of their household income. See: MEANS TEST / .

Established upon the division of the province of Quebec in 1791 as a result of the Constitutional Act, this territory was to eventually become the province of Ontario. British colonization of this territory was encouraged. See: LOWER CANADA / CONSTITUTIONAL ACT (1791) / .

Similar to the notion of modernity, this term refers to the form of social organization and values typically found in large urban settings. The central values are those of individualism and impersonality and the major characteristics of social organization are a developed division of labour, high rates of geographic and social mobility and predominance of impersonality in social interactions despite the acute social interdependence. See: MASS SOCIETY / .

(1) The theory that individuals are best able to define their needs, desires and goals, and where they have freedom to make choices the result will be the greatest possible satisfaction for the greatest number. This is an individualistic perspective because it claims that individuals making free choices necessarily leads to a society where satisfaction and happiness are maximized. The theory overlooks the potential for one individual's choice to constrain or remove the choices of others. (2) As a justification for punishment utilitarianism asserts the utility of the act of punishment or the punishment of a particular offender. The utility of punishment refers to any future benefit for the society (or the greatest number) which can be derived from the act. Justifications in terms of deterrence (individual or general), rehabilitation, incapacitation, and crime prevention are all aspects of utilitarianism. Utilitarian justifications are contrasted with retribution. See: RETRIBUTION / .

These are units of speech that are examined by conversational analysis a stream of work within ethnomethodology.

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© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
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