Audrey Gagnon

Concordia University

Department of Political Science
Program: PhD
Supervisor: Antoine Bilodeau
Start: 2016
End: 2020

Title: Identity construction and activism in Quebec

My PhD thesis attempts to better understand processes influencing identity construction in Quebec. My research question is the following: how do Quebecers construct and make sense of their identity? To so do, I will conduct semi-structured interviews with Quebecers and activists from identity groups in Quebec. The conduct of interviews will allow me to, not only describe, but contextualize and explain individuals’ process of identity construction and its possible ramifications – which includes joining social groups that value Quebec identity. This research aims at understanding how Quebecers and members of identity groups conceptualize the ‘us’ and ‘them’ (that is, who is part of the group, and who is not) and how this conceptualisation came into being. First, I seek to identify how Quebecers and members of identity groups make sense of their Quebecer identity (what is the most valued as part of the Quebec identity). Second, I suggest to empirically test and compare perspectives that might influence process of identity construction among Quebecers and members of identity groups. Finally, I suggest to empirically test two perspectives that might motivate individuals to join identity groups.

Previous Awards
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (2019-2021); Leon-Dion Prize - Prize for the best article published in the peer-reviewed journal Politiques et Sociétés in 2018-2019 (2019); The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC)(2017-2019); J.W. McConnell Memorial Graduate Fellowship (2016-2019); Faculty of Arts and Science Graduate Fellowship in Ethnic Studies and Social Diversity (2016-2018); Brigitte-Schroeder Prize - Prize for the best master’s thesis in political science at the Université de Montréal (2017); Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship – Prize for the best communication (2016)