Elise has recently completed a PhD in Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her research investigates the extent to which identity matters in Canadian electoral politics at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels, bridging sociological understandings of power and authority with feminist analyses of identity.
Elise's dissertation focused on the candidacies and leaderships of three politicians—Justin Trudeau, Olivia Chow, and Kathleen Wynne. It examined the ways in which gender, race, sexuality, and other salient aspects of politicians’ identities are strategically negotiated and mobilized by politicians, political staff, the media, and the grassroots. The project engaged broadly with qualitative methods—discourse analysis, media analysis, participant observation, and interviewing. The research contributes to understandings of: (1) the durability of masculinity in Canadian electoral politics; (2) dispositional requirements for leaders; (3) the compensatory labour that minority politicians perform; (4) alignments and allegiances between politicians and grassroots movements.
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