Community Economies

Janet Newbury

Contact Details:

School of Child and Youth Care

University of Victoria

PO Box 1700, STN CSC

Victoria, BC

V8W 2Y2



Post-doctoral fellow, University of Victoria (May 2013-April 2015)

PhD, Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria (2012)

Masters, Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria (2007)

BA, Sociology, University of Ottawa (1998)

Research Areas:

Human change processes; social justice; intergenerational civic engagement; diversity and intercultural relations; community economies

My doctoral research explored alternatives to individualized approaches to support for children, youth, and families.  This has led to an emerging interest in the synergy between new economic movements and relational approaches to human service practices.  This is the focus of my current postdoctoral research. 

I have researched and written about such topics as: substance use, social justice, relational practice, contextualizing care, collaborative practice with families, qualitative research methods, post growth economies, and asset-based approaches to change within current political and social realities.

In addition to writing, research, and teaching, I am involved in my community in various ways: I am a member of the Community Resource Centre Sustainability Committee; president of the Powell River Diversity Initiative Society; vice-president of the Sunshine Musicfest; and a member of Voices community group which hosts regular public talks and events about pertinant local issues. 


Post-industrial Pathways for a ‘Single Industry Resource Town’: a Community Economies Approach

Janet Newbury, Katherine Gibson

Although communities are constantly undergoing processes of becoming the Powell River community on Canada’s Pacific coast is in a unique transitional moment when it comes to possibilities for post-industrial economic pathways. With the downsizing of its main industry and employer over the past 3 decades, community members are currently exploring a diverse range of economic possibilities that extend beyond strictly capitalist options. Reading for economic diversity can help us to identify and pursue existing and potential economic pathways that enhance wellbeing for human and nonhuman community members. Knowing that outcomes of such an emergent process cannot be taken for granted, tracking ideas and practices as we have done here is critical for this kind of collaborative research, as it helps to enhance reflexivity and inform decisions.


J. Newbury and K. Gibson, 2014 “Post-industrial Pathways for a ‘Single Industry Resource Town’: a Community Economies Approach” in I. Vaccaro, K. Harper and S. Murray eds The Anthropology of Disconnection: Ethnographies of Post-industrialism Oxford and New York: Berghahn Press. Link not live yet.

Contextualizing Care: Relational Engagement with/in Human Service Practices

Janet Newbury

By widening our gaze to include the discursive, political, economic, and other dimensions of lived experience, human service practitioners and policy makers can engage in practices that prioritize the well-being of all community members, recognizing social justice as central to this development.  Drawing from existing empirical research as well as personal narratives by community members and policy makers, this book argues that by blurring the lines between self and other, contextualizing practices, understanding change as ontological, reconceptualizing power, and recognizing justice as an ongoing and shared responsibility, we might collectively access and mobilize fruitful possibilities that are often obscured.

Newbury, J.  2013.  Contextualizing care: Relational engagement with/in human service practices.  Chagrin Falls, OH: Taos Institute/WorldShare Books, Inc.

Creating community: Reconsidering relational practice

Janet Newbury

By drawing from the experience of a community education project, this article demonstrates how community members can understand ourselves to be part of the relational dynamics through which collective change can take place.

Newbury, J.  2012.  Creating community: Reconsidering relational practiceRelational Child and Youth Care Practice.  25(3), 6-20.

The paradox of the individual

Janet Newbury

In this article, the dynamics through which social processes are being increasingly individualized are called into question, and alternative constructions are offered.  When subjectivity and ethics are reconceptualized, new paths for ethical engagement and non-unitary subjects begin to emerge.

Newbury, J.  2012.  The paradox of the individualInternational Journal of Child, Youth, and Family Studies.  4(1), 458-478.

A place for theoretical inconsistency

Janet Newbury

By pragmatically drawing connections across theoretical differences, it is hoped that researchers will engage critically with their own theoretical commitments and assumptions, thus opening themselves up to new possibilities and to new creative ways of coming together.

Newbury, J.  2011.  A place for theoretical inconsistencyInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods.  10(4), 335-347.

Situational analysis: Centreless systems and human service practices

Janet Newbury

With the example of a practice scenario, readers can see the practical possibilities that open up with the shift in perspective invited by situational analysis.

Newbury, J.  2011.  Situational analysis: Centreless systems and human service practicesChild and Youth Services.  32, 88-107.