SLAW Book Review: Book Review: Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life. By Colleen Sheppard. Toronto: Irwin Law, 2021. 222 p. Includes table of contents, bibliographic references, and index. ISBN 9781552215371 (softcover) $39.95; ISBN 9781552215388 (PDF) $39.95.

Reviewed by Julia Forward
Guelph, ON

Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life by Colleen Sheppard provides an incisive look into discrimination in a Canadian context. The book is accessible and engaging in its explanation of key concepts through real-life examples and case studies. While rigorous in its examination of complex legal and constitutional issues, the pages turn easily because of the uniquely human stories of tragedy and hope that are recounted.

The book comprises eight well-organized chapters. The first chapter defines terms through the heartbreaking story of a girl with a disability who loved to bowl and sought to compete. The following chapters tackle discrimination at the micro, meso, and macro levels in the context of employment, sexual violence at universities, race, and hurtful speech. Each chapter provides an overview of how discrimination operates and proposes solutions for overcoming discrimination.

This book looks to the future. Throughout, Sheppard provides concrete examples of how change can occur and makes suggestions for implementing change. She calls on the collective to accept responsibility for discrimination rather than relying solely on institutional or government responses, although she advocates strongly for both of those, too.

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Book Review: Discrimination Stories: Exclusion, Law, and Everyday Life