JosAnn Cutajar, Ph.D.

Biography

JosAnn Cutajar, Ph.D., is senior lecturer with the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta. She is also the chairperson of the Cottonera Resource Centre at the same university. The main expertise and research foci of Cutajar are on the structural factors which lead to social inequality and exclusion, with particular attention to the interactions of gender, race, ethnicity, social class, disability and location.

In Bormla: A Struggling Community, Cutajar explores the differential service provision deployed by a centralized government, the effects of such provision on the people living in stigmatized areas and the manner in which it impacts their efficacy as citizens. Cutajar also explores whether residents living in a particular space are aware of the human and non-human resources available to them, their level of satisfaction with such resources and what alternative networks they resort to, when these resources fail repeatedly to facilitate a certain quality of life.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing? What motivated you to become an author?
I started writing when I was seven years old. I got bronchitis and was in bed for a long time, so to pass the time I read a lot of books, including those by Charles Dickens. I was so fascinated by what I read that I decided to try and emulate major writers and write my own book.

I grew up writing essays in English and winning school prizes. At the undergraduate level, I chose to specialize in English. Midway through the course, I realized that learning about writing in English would not help to raise consciousness about social issues, so I had a mid-course crisis. But I stuck with the course, then opted to specialize in sociology, namely feminist and critical sociology, at the postgraduate level.

Feminist and critical sociology is based on the premise that sociologists study people with the intention of giving voice to the oppressed, raising awareness about social injustice, to bring about social change. I have written many papers which have been published in international, peer-reviewed journals. I have also written chapters in scholarly books and co-edited two textbooks on sociological issues in the Maltese Islands.
What is the story behind your latest book?
My latest book entitled Bormla: A Struggling Community, set to be released by FARAXA Publishing this month, was written when I met my husband who is from Bormla - the small, impoverished, marginalized but very warm-hearted community in the south of Malta and which the book focuses on. My husband used to try and explain what it really meant to be from Bormla and I used to counter the statements he made by resorting to received perceptions of the place. These interactions spurred me to want to know more about the people who lived in this community, this city; how they thought about themselves and their sense of belonging, and how all of the above impacted the choices they made in life.

I wanted to find out whether received perceptions of certain places were based on ‘real’ facts or if they were just social constructions which served political objectives and agendas. In Bormla: A Struggling Community, I used both quantitative and qualitative research methods, namely a needs assessment survey and an ethnographic study, to find out what the residents of Bormla felt about living there, what resources were available to them and how satisfied were they with the services they utilized.
Read more of this interview.

Books

Bormla: A Struggling Community
Price: $49.00 USD. Words: 102,690. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2014 by FARAXA Publishing (USA). Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Sociology / Urban, Nonfiction » Social Science » Research
Bormla: A Struggling Community is a landmark, mixed methods study in which JosAnn Cutajar presents the current situation of the people of this impoverished, historical, European city in the Maltese Islands. Measures that can be taken by the community, the nation and politicians are also presented, to heal the social ills of this city.

JosAnn Cutajar, Ph.D.'s tag cloud

bormla    cospicua    malta    marginalization    poverty    urbanization