Politique et préjugés : l'influence des stéréotypes liés à l'ethnicité, au genre et à l'âge sur le comportement politique = Politics and Prejudice : the influence of ethnicity-based, gender-based, and age-based stereotypes on political behaviour

Authors: Bouchard, Joanie
Advisor: Biland, ÉmilieBodet, Marc-André
Other Title(s): Politics and Prejudice
Abstract: This thesis examines the impact of the gender, age, and ethnicity of party leaders in Canada on the way these candidates are received by electors. Social perception is intrinsically relational and puts as much emphasis on the identity of the candidate as the voter. Consequently, this thesis focuses on both the socio-demographic profile of party leaders and the electors who are called upon to evaluate them. In doing so, she contributes to the fields of electoral studies and political psychology. To do this, three complementary research methods are employed. The first part of the thesis is based on a quantitative analysis of federal electoral data (1988-2015) as well as three Canadian provinces (Quebec (2012-2014), Alberta (2012) and British Columbia (2013)). It looks at the evaluation of party leaders and votes intentions according to the socio-demographic profile of political leaders and voters. The analysis is firmly anchored in the Canadian social and political context. However, a last chapter presenting a quantitative analysis of Western democracies (Germany (2017), New Zealand (2017), France (2017) and the United States (2016)) provides a different perspective on the conclusions drawn in about Canada. The second part of thist hesis presents two experiments, one done in a laboratory at Université Laval and the other online. Based on fictitious elections featuring diverse candidates in terms of gender, age and ethnicity, these experiments focus on the content of the causal relationship between the appearance of candidates and voters’ political behaviour. The last part of the thesis consists in the analysis of qualitative data collected during six discussion groups held between 2018 and 2019 at Université Laval. Three of them were done with people who had participated in the lab experiment, and three others after a call for volunteers. The analysis of these discussions highlights the causal mechanism under study by identifying the content of political stereotypes based on gender, age, and ethnicity in Quebec as well as the way stereotypes are used, repressed, thought out, and questioned by the electorate. In particular, this section of the thesis focuses on the possibility of inferring values and political ideas based on the appearance of a candidate. The main conclusion of this work is the conditional, but very real, occurrence of political be-haviours that can be described as affinity-based (linked to the political support of candidates sharing socio-demographic characteristics with electors) in Canada. In other words, voters are well aware of the social narratives surrounding the presence of people from historically marginalized groups in the political arena, and they use and question preconceived notions related to these groups to different degrees. Although a particular set of characteristics maybe associated with the political "outsider", this deviation from the political norm is not systematically sanctioned. Depending on the profile of voters, the ideologies they carry and the political offer in place at a given moment, this marginality can be actively sought, because associated with the performance of "politics differently" or the better political representation of a social group to which the elector can identify. An overview of the state of affairs in other Western democracies, however, raises the question of the rules of the political game. It reveals that these political behaviours in Canada are more similar to the phenomena observed in pres-idential elections than when we look at other parliamentary systems using mixed proportional voting.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2020
Open Access Date: 14 February 2020
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/38120
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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