UBC Sociology congratulates our PhD and MA students who received funding for their research projects.
You can read more about their projects below.
Lara Antebi is a Master’s student in the Sociology department at UBC, where she works under the supervision of Dr. Seth Abrutyn.
Her research focuses on a long-standing body of literature that finds religion is generally protective against suicide. However, it is less clear why and how religion protects people: is it beliefs, social support, or something else? Using a novel qualitative approach, her thesis project explores how suicide, and mental health more generally are understood and navigated by religious leaders in a Christian context.
Jiaxin Gu is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology. Jiaxin also completed her B.A. (Honours) and Master in Sociology from UBC.
In this SSHRC-funded project, she will conduct interviews with the new generation of young Chinese immigrant workers across Western Canada and Atlantic provinces to explore this heterogeneous immigrant group and their social and economic integration in the Canadian context. Through the intersectional lens of race, gender, and class, her research hopes to raise public awareness of the often-overlooked barriers and challenges experienced by immigrant workers in the Canadian workforce.
Carly Hamdon is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. She studies climate change, gender, and food systems.
Carly’s dissertation research will explore how masculinity contours men’s relationship to the environment. The findings from this research will further our understanding of what it means to “be a man” in contemporary culture and highlight the multiplicity of ways that men relate to and care about the environment.
Parker Muzzerall is a 2nd year PhD Student in the Department of Sociology at UBC. His work studies the contested cultural politics of climate change across Canada. His research project is titled, “Pockets of Polarity: Theorizing climate (de)polarization in Canada.”
At least 80 per cent of Canadians agree that the climate is changing yet climate policy in Canada continues to face significant opposition. Why is this? Conventional accounts of climate politics and polarization suggest that political orientation and geography play a central role in determining why particular groups may resist climate policies. For example, many urban, liberal areas express much higher levels of climate concern than do rural, conservative ones. However, in the Canadian case, these patterns are inconsistent from region to region and from province to province; both East Vancouver and rural Cape Breton have similarly high levels of climate concern. This suggests that rather than focus on population-level determinants, we need to consider the localized cultural contexts in which climate opinions emerge and exist in order to understand why some communities overwhelmingly support or resist particular forms of climate action. To do so, this dissertation research uses a multi-sited interview design to better understand how certain cultural pockets come to understand and act on climate change in divergent ways, how those opinions shape different regions’ beliefs about one another, and how we might be able to develop a broader cross-national climate consensus through empathy-based dialogue approaches.
Mark Shakespear is a PhD Student in the Department of Sociology at UBC. He completed his BA in sociology at the University of Guelph, and his MA in sociology at the University of Victoria. His research is grounded in environmental, cultural, and political sociology, focusing primarily on issues surrounding climate change and energy transitions.
Mark’s dissertation titled, “Mapping the Field of International Climate Change Discourse: Nation-State Networks, Roles, and Policy,” is a longitudinal study of social and discourse networks of nation-states and other policy actors who attend the annual United Nations climate change conference (COP). Drawing on COP documents and interviews with conference participants, and using computational text and network analysis, he will examine change over time in discourse coalitions and conflicts surrounding pertinent climate-related issues, and in the views and actors represented (and not represented) in international climate change policy. Central to his theoretical approach is Stefan Aykut’s concept of climatization – the process whereby climate and non-climate fields mutually shape each other – and an understanding of climate discourse as not only a locus of policy, but also a practice through which actors signal and negotiate identities, relationships, roles, and positions within and beyond climate politics.