By Éric Gagnon Poulin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
What a year full of challenges, unforeseen events and uncertainties in virtually every sphere of social life! The pandemic has turned upside down our research, our methodologies and anthropological practice as a whole. Our results, too, have been influenced by the health context. In my own area of expertise, i.e., economic anthropology with a focus on systemic poverty, social assistance and the labour market, it is undeniable that populations, and especially the poorest sections of society, have undergone an exacerbation of socio-economic distress—and, based on what is being witnessed on the ground, this is only the tip of the iceberg. How will the government plan the economic “recovery” and debt repayment after the pandemic? Will the answer be a return to stringent austerity? What will happen to access to services? Many questions remain up in the air today. Our research must therefore be part of the process, and strive to try to identify a recovery that will benefit the entire population by curbing the rise in poverty and social inequality across the country. One thing is for sure: The purpose and mission of CASCA have never been timelier.
Being involved in the Executive Committee since our 2015 conference at Université Laval, first as Francophone Member at Large and then as Communication Officer, I was greatly honoured to accept the presidency of CASCA. I would like to thank our members for the trust they have placed in me to represent them. I would furthermore like to acknowledge the outstanding work of the Executive Committee in maintaining the strength of our national association.
I look forward to seeing you in Regina, or online, in May 2022.
Yours in solidarity,
Éric Gagnon Poulin, Ph.D.
Président – Société canadienne d’anthropologie
Department of Anthropology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill