Jessica Anne Déry, a master’s student in Sociology supervised by Elke Winter, is asking the big questions when it comes to national identity. Her idea? Explore the construction of Franco-Quebecois and Canado-English identities at the heart of the country.
Jessica Anne Déry is a full time masters student in sociology. Previously, she received a degree in political science with a minor in communications at the University of Ottawa. A directed research course inspired her to bridge the gap between these two disciplines, to the benefit of sociology.
With the supervision of Professor Elke Winter, Jessica focussed on the media’s treatment of Syrian refugees, and the way in which Canadians perceive their identity. She draws a comparison between Quebec and the rest of Canada to see if there might be different views one the question.
This type of research allows a better understanding of the different methods of self-definition in Canada, and to devise ways to welcome refugees. Jessica hopes that her results can shape the formation of public policy. Her research could also be used to create sensitizing programs on the condition of refugees and new arrivals.
It was a desire to understand how Franco-Ontarians and English Canadians construct their identities that first motivated Jessica to begin her research. On the subject of refugees more generally, it was the perceived difficulties with social integration often attributed to them that attracted her interest. According to her, it’s essential for the Canadian population to be well-informed on the Canadian refugee accommodation system in order to improve their situation once they arrive. She recalls that it is most often desperation that forces people to enter a country illegally, at great risk to their lives.
Learn more about other student research on refugees.
The University of Ottawa has created an initiative to collect donations in order to sponsor refugees.