HOW DO SETTLER-COLONIAL INEQUALITIES SHAPE POLITICAL BEHAVIOUR AND COMMUNICATION IN ANGLO-DEMOCRACIES?

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Social structure becomes internalized as cognitive dispositions that shape social action (Bourdieu 2000). In settler-colonial societies, how do White settlers’ cognitive dispositions—specifically, White settlers’ racial attitudes—shape political behaviour and communication? Can we design interventions so that political discourse (talking through disagreement) improves White settlers’ outgroup attitudes? In this talk, Professor Edana Beauvais gives an overview of her research on the political consequences of White settlers’ racial attitudes. She also discusses the results of an experiment that varied communication style (rational-legal speech versus personal storytelling) to see if personal storytelling could improve White settlers’ attitudes toward Indigenous peoples.


Edana Beauvais is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University. She is the Chair of the Participedia Democracy and Digital Communication Cluster and the President of the American Political Science Association’s Democratic Innovations Group. Before joining SFU, she held a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at Duke University, a Visiting Democracy Fellowship at the Ash Center, Harvard University, and a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Democratic Citizenship, McGill University. She is interested in the way inequalities shape communication and action, producing unequal political influence between different social group members.


Seminar series convenors: Hans Asenbaum and Sahana Sehgal.


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