Provisional research title: Multiculturalism, Social Networks and Political Participation
Sara Pavan’s research project looks comparatively at the political behaviour and attitudes of immigrants in Canada and the United States. It seeks to determine whether Canadian multiculturalism policies facilitate identification and political engagement in Canada. In particular, the research assesses whether multiculturalism policies result in more diverse social networks at the individual level. It tests the hypothesis that more diverse networks are positively associated with political engagement.
Sara is currently conducting a survey study with first, 1.5 and second generation immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area. Starting in May 2014, she will continue her empirical research in San Jose, California. Overall, Sara’s sample comprises over 500 individuals. The project focuses in particular on immigrants from India and El Salvador, in both Canada and the US. The survey study is based on a structured questionnaire that investigates individual use and perception of multiculturalism policies, the composition of immigrants’ social networks (with a particular focus on weak ties), political behaviour, political trust and political self-efficacy. Sara’s project is run in three languages: English, Hindi and Spanish.
Sara’s research is supervised by Dr. Keith Banting (Policy Studies and Political Studies) and Dr. Fiona Kay (Sociology). In the fall term of 2012, Sara visited the Department of Sociology of the University of Toronto, where she studied Social Network Analysis under Dr. Bonnie Erickson, under the Ontario Visiting Graduate Student programme. Between May and December 2014, Sara will be a visiting Graduate Student at the Institute of Canadian Studies of the University of California, Berkeley.
Sara has received the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, the Trudeau Scholarship, In 2013, she also received the Mandelbaum Prize for Excellence in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Association. At Queen’s, Sara received the Huntley MacDonald Sinclair Tuition Award for two consecutive years.