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Established within the New Democratic Party in 1969, this group led by Mel Watkins and James Laxer attempted to move the NDP further to the left by espousing clearly socialist and nationalist ideals. The leadership of the party believed that these ideas were unappealing to the public and would challenge the political legitimacy and electability of the NDP. The group was eventually expelled from the party. See: CCF / .

During the Second World War Allied nations determined to prosecute German war criminals and defined ‘war crimes’ as plotting aggressive warfare and committing atrocities against any civilian population. This definition was used in the trials of war criminals which began in 1945. In recent years there have been suggestions that Canada (for its involvement in the fire bombing of German civilians) and the United States (for the dropping of atomic bombs on largely civilian inhabited cities) as well as other nations were also guilty of committing atrocities against civilians, but these nations were never brought to trial. In the 1990s the United Nations again initiated tribunals to prosecute war criminals in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda.

A 1914 statute giving emergency powers to cabinet, allowing it to govern by decree (without the usual approvals of democratic institutions) in times of war, invasion or real or apprehended insurrection. It was this power the federal government invoked in 1970 to deal with the FLQ crisis which the government called a state of ‘apprehended insurrection.’ The Act had been used in early years to intern members of the communist party, Japanese-Canadians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Italian-Canadians. In 1988 this statute was replaced with the Emergency Act..

A member of the Whig political party. A term originating in the 17th century in Britain and referring to that party, supported largely by the new commercial interests, which defended the power of Parliament against royal prerogatives and thus encouraged the democratic revolution in Britain. The term was transplanted to the American colonies and referred to the supporters of independence from Britain. An American Whig political party was formed and it remained a major party until the 1850's when it was succeeded by the Republic party. The term has had little currency in Canada, although the Whig ideal of popular parliamentary government was a strong force in 19th century Canadian politics. See: LIBERALISM / .

Originally used as a contrast to blue-collar workers and captured the distinction between non-manual and manual labour or workers. With the rise of the service economy and the shrinkage of manual labour, the term has become less useful.

As originally used by Edwin Sutherland in 1945, referred to the illegal activities of businesses and corporations committed to further the goals of the business. These acts were not regulated by criminal law but by regulatory laws of various kinds. These acts included false advertising, anti-trust violations, environmental pollution or dumping product on the market below cost. Criminologists now call this corporate crime or organizational crime and reserve the term white-collar crime for those illegal acts committed by people in positions of trust (usually in white-collar jobs) for personal gain. For example, making personal long-distance calls on an employer's account.

The assertion that the concepts and structure of languages profoundly shape the perception and world view of speakers. Rather than just being a means of expressing thought, language is claimed to form thought. Thus, people of different language communities will see and understand in different ways. Developed by Benjamin Whorf and Edward Sapir in the 1930 and grew out of contact with the Native languages of North America. Most sociologists regard the theory as too deterministic and stress the dynamic way in which language responds to social and technical transformation of society.


A 1959 British report of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offenses and Prostitution (Chaired by Sir John Wolfenden). Its major recommendation was that sexual activity between consenting adults should no longer be a criminal offense. This report had influence in many western nations and in 1969, after Pierre Trudeau became Minister of Justice, Canada repealed sections of the criminal code that had made homosexual activity a criminal offense.

Formed in April 1985 to pursue litigation under the equal rights provisions of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in order to change aspects of Canadian society and to improve women's position in society.

The theory, within criminology, that women's involvement in crime will come to more closely resemble men's as gendered differences between women and men are diminished by women's greater social participation and equality. Although sounding plausible, there is little empirical evidence to support this theory.

A broad term for a range of social and political organizations and activities like research, writing and criticism that have the main goal of advancing the status of women in society and overcoming cultural marginalization of women's perspectives and experience in society.

This term has been found more frequently in Britain and while having an imprecise meaning, generally includes skilled and unskilled manual workers (perhaps synonymous with blue-collar workers) and sometimes lower levels of white-collar workers. Is similar in meaning to lower class unless it is used in a more Marxian sense to refer to those who work for a living ie: the proletariat.

Derived from the work of Karl Marx and made into a developed set of ideas by Immanuel Wallerstein. He shows that capitalism is not just an economic system bounded by national borders highlighting class inequality. Rather, capitalism must also be seen as involving relationships among nations and these relationships too are based on inequality. Those nations which developed capitalistic economies early then went on to dominate other nations through colonization or simply through linking the economies of the nations in ways that favored the more dominant nation and placed the others into a condition of dependency on the dominant nation. This state of dependency tended to hamper the development of the other economies. See: DEPENDENT DEVELOPMENT / METROPOLIS-HINTERLAND THEORY / .

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Athabaca University ICAAP

© Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D.
The online version of this dictionary is a product of
Athabasca University and

*This social science dictionary has 1000
entries covering the disciplines of sociology, criminology, political
science and women's study with a commitment to Canadian examples and
events and names