Main Article Content
Jane and Finch is notoriously known in the City of Toronto as a high profile “Priority Neighbourhood” characterized by poverty, crime and violence. And yet, it is situated in close proximity to York University, a place of higher learning characterized by modernism, order, multiculturalism, and innovation. Using a spatial analysis, the first half of this essay traces the social, cultural, and historical development of Jane and Finch and York University, contrasting the rapid development and expansion of York University in relation to the slow growth and deteriorating living conditions of Jane and Finch. The second half of the essay explores the racialization of physical and social differences between York University and Jane and Finch. In particular, I explore how interlocking systems of domination produce, maintain, and (re)produce an invisible fence that constitutes York University as a civilized space and Jane and Finch as a spectacle of violence and delinquency. Overall, this article uses York University as a case study to argue that the university, as an extension of the State, participates in a neoliberal and colonizing project that constructs York University as a safe place of higher learning at the expense of social marginalization, stigmatization, and exclusion of the Jane and Finch community and Othering of its residents. By the racialization of Jane and Finch and Othering of its immigrants and visible minorities, York University exemplifies the processes by which whiteness is protected and privileged and the university’s perpetuation of poverty and violence in Jane and Finch are masked.
Authors who publish with the Journal of Critical Race Inquiry (CRI) agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).