Kathy Meilleur receives a SSHRC doctoral fellowship for her research project Marronage versus Rurality, A Cross-Sectional Perspective on Violence, Identity and Social Capital in Jamaica
Congratulations to Kathy Meilleur for receiving a SSRHC doctoral fellowship ! Her research project is entitled "Marronage versus Rurality: A Cross-Sectional Perspective on Violence, Identity and Social Capital in Jamaica". SSHRC has provided 3 years of funding for Kathy's doctoral research.
The SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships support high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in the social sciences and humanities. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and to contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.
Kathy Meilleur is a Ph.D candidate in political science at Concordia University, as well as a student member of ÉRIGAL. Her project focuses on the concept and phenomenon of violence. More specifically, she proposes to address the following question: how can we explain the low incidence of violence among the Maroon communities of Jamaica, which, like their rural sisters who are known to be violent, are nevertheless evolving in response to numerous historical (colonial slave-owning past), social (machismo, domestic violence, police impunity, structural racism) and economic (inequality and poverty, informal and illicit economic activities) factors generally related to the causes and consequences of violence? Addressing this question requires, inter alia, a comparison between neighbouring Maroon and non-Maroon rural communities subject to similar conditions. To do so, this study relies on a comparative ethnographic method (field observations and free and semi-guided interviews) that allows the production of original empirical data. Using these data and following an inductive approach, this project involves problematizing the literature on the conceptualization of violence and the concept of social capital. The problematization of this literature is carried out using an analytical framework based on a World Health Organization (WHO) definition (Krug et al., 2002), enhanced by the contribution of Galtung (1969) and Farmer (2004), which focuses on personal and structural violence and the perception of such violence. The objective of this research is to verify the importance of social capital, "... refer[ing] to connections among individuals-social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them" (Putnam, 2000, p. 19), in differentiating developed social norms with respect to violence in rural areas. By apprehending the strength, but also the nature of bridging and bonding capital, respectively based on homogeneity and heterogeneity (Putnam 2000, p. 22; Pareck, 2004; Brought et al., 2006, p. 5), the role of identity issues in the face of these same norms is analyzed. Finally, a field study of Jamaican media archives will document the official discourse and media representations of violence in order to complete this research project.