Comportement politique/sociologie

F17(a) - Political Sociology and Citizenship

Date: Jun 14 | Heure: 10:15am to 11:45am | Salle:

Chair/Président/Présidente : Seyoung Jung (UQAM)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Vincent Raynauld (Emerson College)

Political dynamics of mental health in Canada: Natasha Goel (University of Toronto), Marc-Antoine Rancourt (University of Toronto)
Abstract: The role political ideology and partisanship play in shaping our thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors naturally leads to their association with various life outcomes, including our mental and physical health. This link has been previously explored in the literature, with the findings indicating that identification with conservative or right-wing ideologies is linked to better health. This relationship can also be understood in the reverse, whereby mental health shapes our beliefs and ultimately our political decisions. Using the Canadian Election Study (CES), this paper will consider the political dynamics of mental health. This is a topic of increasing significance, especially as mental health continues to emerge as a prominent public health concern. In order to comprehend how the dynamics between ideology, partisanship, and mental health may have evolved in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we examine links between these factors in both 2019 and 2021. Preliminary findings paper corroborate previous findings indicating that political orientation is indeed a determinant of self-reported mental health in the Canadian context. This relationship differs between 2019 and 2021. As well, identification with right-wing ideology and right-leaning parties is linked to better mental health outcomes, particularly at the ideological extreme.

Citizen Representation in Federal States: Éric Desrochers (Université d'Ottawa / University of Ottawa)
Abstract: My paper will focus on the relationship between citizens’ preferred policies and those enacted by their governments. I will examine how citizens’ substantive representation differs across federations’ subnational units, with a particular attention to the effects of some of federalism’s associated characteristics (fiscal decentralization, shared jurisdictions, social heterogeneity, bicameralism, and party system incongruence). I will rely on literatures with different approaches to political representation, particularly on studies on substantive representation and on federalism.While previous studies of substantive representation have usually focused on the public opinion of states as a whole, I should be able to offer insights into some of the inequalities of representation present within federations. The first contribution that I make is to better connect the literature on substantive representation to the vast federalism literature. On the one hand, studies of substantive representation have developed clear concepts and measures of representation, namely citizens-elites congruence and responsiveness, but they have failed to capture the peculiarities of political representation inherent to federations. On the other hand, the literature on federalism proposed normative insights with respect to representation but has failed to grasp the recent developments characterizing studies of substantive representation. My objective in this paper is thus to propose new conceptualizations of substantive representation that better consider the normative expectations associated with federalism and develop theoretical expectations explaining the role of federalism on citizens’ substantive representation within (and across) federations.

Trudeau, Trump, Thunberg: What political content do teenagers view online?: Nicole Gallant (INRS)
Abstract: Traditional political science tools prove insufficient to grasp how online conversations and content contribute to the political socialisation of young people (alongside better-known agents like family, peers, schools, etc.). Two shortcomings arise in the existing quantitative and qualitative literature: the questions tend to imply intent (e.g. “looking for” information) and answers vary along subjective definitions of information and politics. To observe what type of political information young people effectively see online (whether or not they actively seek it), we conducted innovative qualitative interviews with fifteen teenagers (aged 15 to 17) in Québec in 2020. After establishing together what “counts” as politics/news through curated examples including memes, we observed their digital practices in context, as they scrolled their accounts on the various platforms they regularly use. Each occurrence of political/news content was discussed (whom it came from, how they usually react) and captured through screenshots for further analysis (manually coding 281 items for themes, geography, source, etc.). Political content was generally sparse, and topics ranged from covid, social debates (environment, inequalities, feminism), to news about celebrities, and seldom government action. Many were humour about political personalities which did not reference their political views. Most importantly, it emerges that algorithms seem to reinforce and exacerbate the divide between young people who are politically aware and others. The later view very little political content, generally suggested by algorithms: either sponsored local information or popular non-Québécois, non-Canadian humor, often from unreliable sources. This likely impacts their representations of the scale and geography of the political sphere.