merlej


Merle A Jacobs

Photo of Merle A Jacobs

Department of Equity Studies

Associate Professor
Chair, Department of Equity Studies

Office: Room 330 Atkinson Building
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 44012
Email: merlej@yorku.ca
Primary website: www.merleajacobs.com
Attached CV: https://profiles.laps.yorku.ca/files/CV2020-October-1.doc

Media Requests Welcome
Accepting New Graduate Students


I am a faculty member and the current Chair in the Department of Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies.
I worked as a Nurse Manager in psychiatry while attending York full time for my MA and Ph.D. As a therapist, I never thought of leaving Mental Health and entering academia. My love for sociology kept me returning to York University and I was able to blend my health background when completing my Ph.D. in Women and Work: Staff Nurse Collegiality. The issues of racism and abuse in a predominantly women’s profession, one where I worked as a racialized woman, provided not just the lived experience but allowed me to base my knowledge on research and theory. I have a strong commitment to critical race theory and the social determinants of health. Empirical and ethically engaged sociology inspires my research and teaching. I try to cultivate students’ critical thinking skills and sensitize them to the connections between personal experiences and the social world around them. In 2001, I was invited by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) to join their Graduate Programme prior to working full-time at York University.
The origin of my research can be traced to my life experiences as an immigrant, and my early professional background in health. Leaving Burma alone, as a teenager on a one-way ticket to the West, heightened my sensitivities to gender inequality, mental health, disruptive family relations due to political violence, human rights, and social justice. As a result, my research and scholarship are situated in a) mental health, b) health professionals, c) race and ethnicity in women’s work, and d) my current research: Anglo Burmese culture.
Burmese refugees in Canada: social justice and human rights, relocation, and ties with Burma/ related activist groups in Canada.
I am currently working on completing my book on - Anglo Burmese Culture: Letters from my mother

Current Research - Refugees in Kurdistan and their trauma as well as Canadian refugees and immigrants originated from the Middle East including Iraq. This research is within a team of scholars in Canada and in the Middle East.

More...

Employment equity for racial minorities and aboriginal people: including Social Justice, Setup and Backlash, Nursing and collegiality Vicarious trauma when working in helping professions; race as a category Burmese refugees in Toronto: Trauma in ethnic women, social justice and human rights, relocation, and ties with Burma/ related activist groups in Canada.
Anglo Burmese culture: a subculture within Burma.
Indigenous ethnicity: The Rakhine
War and forced migration in the Middle East.
(A Eight-year Internationally collaborative, a multilateral partnership project with Universities in Kurdistan)

Degrees

PhD Sociology, York University
MA Sociology, York University
BA Sociology (Hon), York University

Professional Leadership

2020- Chair, Department of Equity Studies
2018 - Coordinator Human Rights and Equity Degree
2017 Chair, Department of Equity Studies
2011-12 Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Equity Studies
2010- 12 Chair, Department of Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
2010-11 Coordinator Human Rights and Equity Degree
2010-11 Coordinator Race Ethnicity and Indiginaty Degree

Community Contributions

2020 Consultant for Outreach Oasis of Praise
2013-2015 Chair – Canadian Friends of Burma
2013- Member and BOD - Canadian Friends of Burma
2010- 2012 Member, Central LIHN IHSP Health Equity Advisory Network
2007- 09 Chair, The Marcus Garvey Centre for Leadership and Education
2008 Governance Committee, York Central Hospital
2006 Quality and Performance management Committee. York Central Hospital
2004 - 06 Community member, Strategic Planning Committee. York Central Hospital

Research Interests

Health , Sociology, race and racism, critical human rights, refugees, , political economy, Trauma, Culture, Social Dislocation, Women’s Work: Racism and Trauma. Professional organisations

Current Research Projects

War and forced migration in the Middle East.

    Summary:

    (A Eight-year Internationally collaborative, a multilateral partnership project with Universities in Kurdistan)
    “War and forced migration in the Middle East”.
    (A Eight-year Internationally collaborative, multilateral partnership project)
    Team from DES include Professor L. A. Visano and Professor M. A. Jacobs.

    Phase 1) assessing the life conditions of refugees and Internally Displace People (IDP) within the Iraqi Kurdistan camps and shelters. In this part, the quality of life indicators, the indicators of a dignified and just-able life condition are going to be evaluated, while the effect of services provided to the migrants and refugees within the camps also will be investigated.
    Phase 2) Canadian refugees and immigrants originated from the Middle East including Iraq would be analysed for their life conditions and how their resettlement is being experienced after fleeing from their homes and shelters. Has the new sanctuary been able to provide relief from the trauma or has added new suffering to their lived experience

    See more
    Role: Co-PI


    See more
    Funders:
    Minor Research Grant

    See more
    Funders:
    Junior Faculty Fund
Books

Publication
Year

(Ed) Toronto. APF Press (refereed)

2017

Toronto. APF Press (pages 524) (refereed)

2015

APF Press Toronto

2015

Women's Work:Racism Revisited. APF Press

2013

Visano, L. A & Merle Jacobs. Social justice and human rights: inequalities relating to health status. APF Press

2013

(Ed) with Toronto: APF Press. (pages 246)(refereed)

2013

Social Dislocation, Trauma, and The Lived Experience. (Ed) Toronto: APF Press

2011

The Professionalization of Work (Eds) with Stephen Bosanac .Ontario: de Sitter Publications. ( Second Edition - forthcoming June)

2010

Women’s Work: Racism and Trauma. Toronto: APF Press (pages 164)

2008

Critical Reading in Health (Ed) Toronto: APF Press.

2008

The Cappuccino Principle: Health, Culture and Social Justice in the Workplace. Ontario: de Sitter Publication (pages 231)

2007

Justice Health and Culture (Ed) Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2007

A Reader in Social Justice: Local and Global (Ed) Ontario: Thomson Nelson.

2006

The Professionalization of Work (Eds) with Stephen Bosanac .Ontario: de Sitter Publications.

2006

A Reader in Social Justice: Local and Global. Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2006

Sociology: Families and Social Change. Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2006

Intersections: Readings in Sociology. Customized Reader Canada: Pearson Custom Publishing.

2005

Is Anyone Listening?: Women, Work, and Society (Ed)Toronto: Women’s Press.

2002

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

(pp 33-61) Toronto. APF Press.

2017

Understanding Bureaucracies in Canadian Society: Global Perspectives, edited by Timothy P. McCauley. Ontario, de Sitter Publications

2010

Equity and Work in The Professionalization of Work (Eds) with Stephen Bosanac .Ontario, de Sitter Publications

2010

Disordered Eating: Culture Matters. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) Critical Readings in Health. (pp 183-212) . Toronto: APF Press.

2008

Race is a determent of health. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) Justice, Health and Culture. (pp 36 – 46) . Ontario:Thomson Nelson.

2007

Nursing, A Pink Collar Ghetto? From Semi-Professional to Professional. In Merle Jacobs & Stephen Bosanac (Eds) ‘The Professionalization of Work.’ (pp 123-143). Ontario: de Sitter Publications.

2007

Social Determinants of Health: A roadmap to Social Justice. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) A Reader in Social Justice: Local and Global. (pp 235-252) . Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2006

Creating Understanding from Research: Staff Nurses’ Views on Collegiality. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) ‘Is anyone listening? Women, Work and Society.’ (pp 295-314). Toronto:Women’s Press.

2002

Undertaking Advocacy. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) ‘is anyone listening? Women, Work and Society.’ (pp 336-344). Toronto: Women’s Press

2002

Race is a determent of Health in Canada. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) Critical Readings in Health. (pp 49-72) . Toronto: APF Press.


Research Reports

Publication
Year

Implementing Accountability For Equity And Ending Racial Backlash (Eds) Hagey, R., Jacobs. M., Turrittin J., Prudy, M., Lee, Ruth., Cooper Brathwaite A., & Marianne Chandler. Toronto: Canadian Race Relation Foundation.

2005

Approach to Teaching


I teach because I believe that education above all else is the means to creating equality of conditions and opportunity. In a classroom, there is an unequal distribution of power. Students who believe they have little influence are unlikely to feel committed. This dissatisfaction can decrease participation. With this in mind, I encourage students to ask questions and challenge what they hear. I encourage analytical discourse, self-reflection, and dialogue based on knowledge



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2021 AP/HREQ4650 3.0 M Equity In The Workplace SEMR


I am a faculty member and the current Chair in the Department of Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies.
I worked as a Nurse Manager in psychiatry while attending York full time for my MA and Ph.D. As a therapist, I never thought of leaving Mental Health and entering academia. My love for sociology kept me returning to York University and I was able to blend my health background when completing my Ph.D. in Women and Work: Staff Nurse Collegiality. The issues of racism and abuse in a predominantly women’s profession, one where I worked as a racialized woman, provided not just the lived experience but allowed me to base my knowledge on research and theory. I have a strong commitment to critical race theory and the social determinants of health. Empirical and ethically engaged sociology inspires my research and teaching. I try to cultivate students’ critical thinking skills and sensitize them to the connections between personal experiences and the social world around them. In 2001, I was invited by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) to join their Graduate Programme prior to working full-time at York University.
The origin of my research can be traced to my life experiences as an immigrant, and my early professional background in health. Leaving Burma alone, as a teenager on a one-way ticket to the West, heightened my sensitivities to gender inequality, mental health, disruptive family relations due to political violence, human rights, and social justice. As a result, my research and scholarship are situated in a) mental health, b) health professionals, c) race and ethnicity in women’s work, and d) my current research: Anglo Burmese culture.
Burmese refugees in Canada: social justice and human rights, relocation, and ties with Burma/ related activist groups in Canada.
I am currently working on completing my book on - Anglo Burmese Culture: Letters from my mother

Current Research - Refugees in Kurdistan and their trauma as well as Canadian refugees and immigrants originated from the Middle East including Iraq. This research is within a team of scholars in Canada and in the Middle East.

Employment equity for racial minorities and aboriginal people: including Social Justice, Setup and Backlash, Nursing and collegiality Vicarious trauma when working in helping professions; race as a category Burmese refugees in Toronto: Trauma in ethnic women, social justice and human rights, relocation, and ties with Burma/ related activist groups in Canada.
Anglo Burmese culture: a subculture within Burma.
Indigenous ethnicity: The Rakhine
War and forced migration in the Middle East.
(A Eight-year Internationally collaborative, a multilateral partnership project with Universities in Kurdistan)

Degrees

PhD Sociology, York University
MA Sociology, York University
BA Sociology (Hon), York University

Professional Leadership

2020- Chair, Department of Equity Studies
2018 - Coordinator Human Rights and Equity Degree
2017 Chair, Department of Equity Studies
2011-12 Undergraduate Program Director, Department of Equity Studies
2010- 12 Chair, Department of Equity Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies
2010-11 Coordinator Human Rights and Equity Degree
2010-11 Coordinator Race Ethnicity and Indiginaty Degree

Community Contributions

2020 Consultant for Outreach Oasis of Praise
2013-2015 Chair – Canadian Friends of Burma
2013- Member and BOD - Canadian Friends of Burma
2010- 2012 Member, Central LIHN IHSP Health Equity Advisory Network
2007- 09 Chair, The Marcus Garvey Centre for Leadership and Education
2008 Governance Committee, York Central Hospital
2006 Quality and Performance management Committee. York Central Hospital
2004 - 06 Community member, Strategic Planning Committee. York Central Hospital

Research Interests

Health , Sociology, race and racism, critical human rights, refugees, , political economy, Trauma, Culture, Social Dislocation, Women’s Work: Racism and Trauma. Professional organisations

Current Research Projects

War and forced migration in the Middle East.

    Summary:

    (A Eight-year Internationally collaborative, a multilateral partnership project with Universities in Kurdistan)
    “War and forced migration in the Middle East”.
    (A Eight-year Internationally collaborative, multilateral partnership project)
    Team from DES include Professor L. A. Visano and Professor M. A. Jacobs.

    Phase 1) assessing the life conditions of refugees and Internally Displace People (IDP) within the Iraqi Kurdistan camps and shelters. In this part, the quality of life indicators, the indicators of a dignified and just-able life condition are going to be evaluated, while the effect of services provided to the migrants and refugees within the camps also will be investigated.
    Phase 2) Canadian refugees and immigrants originated from the Middle East including Iraq would be analysed for their life conditions and how their resettlement is being experienced after fleeing from their homes and shelters. Has the new sanctuary been able to provide relief from the trauma or has added new suffering to their lived experience

    Role: Co-PI


    Project Type: Funded
    Funders:
    Minor Research Grant

    Project Type: Funded
    Funders:
    Junior Faculty Fund

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

(pp 33-61) Toronto. APF Press.

2017

Understanding Bureaucracies in Canadian Society: Global Perspectives, edited by Timothy P. McCauley. Ontario, de Sitter Publications

2010

Equity and Work in The Professionalization of Work (Eds) with Stephen Bosanac .Ontario, de Sitter Publications

2010

Disordered Eating: Culture Matters. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) Critical Readings in Health. (pp 183-212) . Toronto: APF Press.

2008

Race is a determent of health. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) Justice, Health and Culture. (pp 36 – 46) . Ontario:Thomson Nelson.

2007

Nursing, A Pink Collar Ghetto? From Semi-Professional to Professional. In Merle Jacobs & Stephen Bosanac (Eds) ‘The Professionalization of Work.’ (pp 123-143). Ontario: de Sitter Publications.

2007

Social Determinants of Health: A roadmap to Social Justice. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) A Reader in Social Justice: Local and Global. (pp 235-252) . Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2006

Creating Understanding from Research: Staff Nurses’ Views on Collegiality. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) ‘Is anyone listening? Women, Work and Society.’ (pp 295-314). Toronto:Women’s Press.

2002

Undertaking Advocacy. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) ‘is anyone listening? Women, Work and Society.’ (pp 336-344). Toronto: Women’s Press

2002

Race is a determent of Health in Canada. In Merle Jacobs (Ed) Critical Readings in Health. (pp 49-72) . Toronto: APF Press.


Books

Publication
Year

(Ed) Toronto. APF Press (refereed)

2017

Toronto. APF Press (pages 524) (refereed)

2015

APF Press Toronto

2015

Women's Work:Racism Revisited. APF Press

2013

Visano, L. A & Merle Jacobs. Social justice and human rights: inequalities relating to health status. APF Press

2013

(Ed) with Toronto: APF Press. (pages 246)(refereed)

2013

Social Dislocation, Trauma, and The Lived Experience. (Ed) Toronto: APF Press

2011

The Professionalization of Work (Eds) with Stephen Bosanac .Ontario: de Sitter Publications. ( Second Edition - forthcoming June)

2010

Women’s Work: Racism and Trauma. Toronto: APF Press (pages 164)

2008

Critical Reading in Health (Ed) Toronto: APF Press.

2008

The Cappuccino Principle: Health, Culture and Social Justice in the Workplace. Ontario: de Sitter Publication (pages 231)

2007

Justice Health and Culture (Ed) Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2007

A Reader in Social Justice: Local and Global (Ed) Ontario: Thomson Nelson.

2006

The Professionalization of Work (Eds) with Stephen Bosanac .Ontario: de Sitter Publications.

2006

A Reader in Social Justice: Local and Global. Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2006

Sociology: Families and Social Change. Toronto: Thomson Nelson.

2006

Intersections: Readings in Sociology. Customized Reader Canada: Pearson Custom Publishing.

2005

Is Anyone Listening?: Women, Work, and Society (Ed)Toronto: Women’s Press.

2002

Research Reports

Publication
Year

Implementing Accountability For Equity And Ending Racial Backlash (Eds) Hagey, R., Jacobs. M., Turrittin J., Prudy, M., Lee, Ruth., Cooper Brathwaite A., & Marianne Chandler. Toronto: Canadian Race Relation Foundation.

2005

Approach to Teaching


I teach because I believe that education above all else is the means to creating equality of conditions and opportunity. In a classroom, there is an unequal distribution of power. Students who believe they have little influence are unlikely to feel committed. This dissatisfaction can decrease participation. With this in mind, I encourage students to ask questions and challenge what they hear. I encourage analytical discourse, self-reflection, and dialogue based on knowledge



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Winter 2021 AP/HREQ4650 3.0 M Equity In The Workplace SEMR