Debating Hate Crime

Language, Legislatures, and the Law in Canada

Allyson M. Lunny

  • Published: 2017. Paperback October 2017
  • Subject Listing: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Politics; History / Canadian History
  • Bibliographic information: 248 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Debating Hate Crimes examines the language used by parliamentarians, senators, and committee witnesses to debate Canada's hate laws. Drawing on discourse analysis, semiotics, and critical psychoanalysis, Allyson M. Lunny explores how the tropes, metaphors, and other linguistic signifiers used in these debates expose the particular concerns, trepidations, and anxieties of Canadian lawmakers and the expert witnesses called before their committees. In so doing, Lunny reveals and interrogates the meaning and social signification of the endorsement of, and resistance to, hate law. The result is a rich historical and analytical account of some of Canada's most passionate public debates on victimization, rightful citizenship, social threat, and moral erosion.
Allyson M. Lunny is assistant professor in the law and society program at York University.

"Debating Hate Crime makes a distinctive and important contribution to hate crime scholarship. Allyson M. Lunny argues that the debates that take place in the process of policy formation and law reform at the national level are a microcosm of wider society and, as such, tell us much about that society and its concerns. The approach and insights offered by this Canadian study have importance for all those interested in hate crime initiatives across the world."
-Leslie J. Moran, professor of law, Birkbeck College, University of London

"Debating Hate Crime uses discursive analysis as a critical lens to uncover the common tropes that support and resist proposed initiatives revolving around hate crime protections for vulnerable communities. This is a crucial exercise in exposing the impacts of personal and political morals on public policy. This book represents a significant contribution to the limited field of hate studies in Canada."
-Dr. Barbara Perry, professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Introduction: The Political and Affective Language of Hate

1. Hate Propaganda and the Spectre of the Holocaust
2. Legislating Victims of Hate
3. Bill C-250: A Censoring of Religious Freedom or a Protection Against Hate?
4. The Trans "Bathroom Bill"
5. The Baby and the Bathwater: The Repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act