My research programme is situated at the interface of environmental sociology (environmental justice), social movements and political sociology, and adopts both qualitative and quantitative methods. My goal is to better understand how everyday people and organizations mobilize for political action on issues related to resource extraction and the environment. Central to these investigations is the role of power relations, and my research trajectory in this realm has been two-fold.
First, my published research has been focused on examining social movement dynamics within the mining justice and broader environmental movement. Here, I have been interested in understanding the factors that facilitate coordinated action amongst NGOs and grassroots groups, highlighting the mechanisms that bind groups into seemingly unlikely alliances. In addition to understanding coordinated action, my interest has been in using survey data to better understand how funding sources (membership, foundation, government or corporate) shape the tactical choices of environmental social movements organizations (ESMOs) as well as the effects of ESMO diversification or specialization on mobilization outcomes, specifically their ability to accumulate human and material resources.
Second, my dissertation research seeks to distill patterns of public (dis)engagement after disaster strikes. I use the catastrophic 2014 Mount Polley tailings dam failure as a case study to investigate trajectories of public participation in agenda-setting via news media, movement mobilization as well as environmental (risk) governance. My dissertation is based on over 40 interviews, participant observation, hundreds of news articles and thousands of pages of documents acquired from access to information requests.
Supervisor: Dr. Catherine Corrigall-Brown
(2020). Channeling advocacy? Assessing how funding source shapes the strategies of environmental organizations. Social Movement Studies 19(2): 222-240.
Chewinski, Max. (2019). “Coordinating Action: NGOs and Grassroots Groups Challenging Canadian Resource Extraction Abroad.” Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations 30(2): 356-368.
Chewinski, Max. (2017). “Activists and the Academy: Making Social Movement Research Useful.” Canadian Review of Sociology 54(3): 363-365.
Chewinski, Max. (2016). “Mining as Canadian Nation-building: Contentious Citizenship Regimes on the Move.” Canadian Journal of Sociology 41(3): 349-373.
Stoddart, Mark, Max Chewinski, B. Quinn Burt and Megan Stewart. (2019). “Political Consumerism in the Oil and Mining Extractive Industries: Possibilities for Sustainability and Social Justice.” Pp. 367-387 in Oxford Handbook of Political Consumerism, edited by Magnus Boström, Michele Micheletti and Peter Oosterveer. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Chewinski, Max. Nov 4th, 2016. “Liberals failing on duty to hold Canadian mining companies accountable abroad.” National Observer.
Chewinski, Max. 2019. “Channeling Advocacy? Assessing how funding source shapes the strategies of environmental organizations.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, June 5, Vancouver, BC and at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 12, New York City, NY.
Chewinski, Max. 2017. “Threads that Bind: Explaining Coordinated Action in Social Movements.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 14, Montreal, QC.
Chewinski, Max. 2016. “Committing (Phenomenological) Sociology: Actor-centered Approaches to Social Movement Research.” Solicited paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association, June 2, Calgary, AB.
Chewinski, Max. 2016. “Knots that Strain and Threads that Bind: NGO-grassroots Dynamics in the Movement Web Challenging Canadian Resource Extractivism.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association, June 2, Calgary, AB.
Chewinski, Max. 2016. “The Globe & Mail’s Framing of Idle No More: Challenging the Protest Paradigm.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association, June 2, Calgary, AB.
Chewinski, Max. 2014. “Whither the State? Globalization, Citizenship Regimes and Canadian Mining as Nation Building.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Sociological Association, May 30, St. Catherine’s, ON.
2020 Department of Sociology Research Award, UBC
2020 SAGE Publishing Keith Roberts Teaching Innovations Award
2019 Public Scholars Award, UBC
2019 Department of Sociology Graduate Teaching Award, UBC
2019 Faculty of Arts Graduate Student Research Award, UBC
2018 Department of Sociology Research Award, UBC
2017-20 Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Doctoral Scholarship
2016 Political Sociology and Social Movements Best
Student Paper Award (CSA)
2015 UBC Four Year Fellowship
2014 Environment Research Cluster Best Student Paper
2014 Ontario Graduate Scholarship
2013 Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master’s Scholarship
SOCI 464 – Social Movements and Protest
SOCI 102: Inequality and Social Change
SOCI 217: Research Methods
SOCI 320: Diversity in Family Forms
SOCI 324: Sociology of the Life Course
SOCI 360: Sociology and Natural Resources
SOCI 370: Sociological Theories: Classical and Contemporary Approaches