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Group of seven

Multidisciplinary researchers secure $385,000 for foundational support

By Jeff Green

Seven researchers are sharing more than $385,000 in federal funding for studies that will heighten awareness and bring new knowledge to important societal issues.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has posted the latest results of its Insight Development Grants.

Those benefitting from the support include a researcher in the Faculty of Business Administration and six researchers from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, specifically the departments of Sociology, Folklore, Political Science and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

In total, SSHRC is investing $387,840 at Memorial.

‘Visionary support’

“These emerging scholars are leading high-quality projects that bring new understandings of the world we live in and further enhance Memorial’s global reputation for cutting-edge research,” said Dr. Neil Bose, vice-president (research).

“Memorial is very grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for its visionary support of our researchers and their critical studies. I personally congratulate each of our newest recipients and wish them well with their studies.”

Effective and sustainable changes

Dr. Allyson Stokes
Dr. Allyson Stokes
Photo: Submitted

Dr. Allyson Stokes, assistant professor, Department of Sociology, is receiving $59,508 for her project, From Worst Kept Secrets to Me Too: A Study of Sexual Harassment in Creative Industries.

“It has now been three years since the Weinstein scandal broke and the #MeToo movement emerged,” Dr. Stokes told the Gazette, noting her project focuses on the film industry.

“Since then, what was long considered Hollywood’s “worst kept secret” has become the subject of widespread media concern, public debate and new policy initiatives. Despite all of this, new concerns are popping up about inclusivity in the movement against sexual harassment and violence, and whether recent changes are effective and sustainable.”

Dr. Stokes says “very few” studies of workplace sexual harassment centre on creative industries. She adds that while sexual harassment is considered a form of gender inequality, not much is known about how gender intersects with race, class and other inequalities to shape sexual harassment.

‘Valuable experience’

Dr. Stokes says SSHRC’s funding will allow her to expand her study to include interviews with film industry workers, conduct an analysis of major media coverage and develop a website to disseminate her research.

“This funding will allow me to include graduate students in all stages of the research process through research assistantships that will give them valuable experience in research design, data collection and analysis, and presenting and publishing results.

“My hope is that this research can offer applied contributions to the film industry and policy-makers, as well as scholarly contributions to our theory and knowledge about work, sexual harassment and equity.” 

Societal issues

Dr. Ashrafee Hossain
Dr. Ashrafee Hossain
Photo: David Howells

Dr. Ashrafee Hossain, associate professor of finance, Faculty of Business Administration, is receiving $30,220 for his project, Corporate diversity and role of political corruption.

“Diversity on corporate boards and management is still an issue, which we propose to study using political corruption as a moderating determinant,” he explained to the Gazette.

“A rationale for this choice is that politics, for example in the U.S., is primarily male dominated. This is expected to impact diversity at the corporate level conditional on the strength and enforcement of a country’s legal system designed to protect and foster various forms of diversity.”

Dr. Hossain says his project intersects with a variety of disciplines, such as financial economics, political science and sociology.

He believes the findings will be valuable to a wide audience, including policy-makers, regulators, corporate managers and other corporate stakeholders.

“Our ultimate goal is to build a diversity index that will span beyond the typical diversity definition of gender diversity and/or ethnic diversity.”

Vital impact

Dr. Hossain says SSHRC’s support is vital to the success of his project.

“Without SSHRC funding, I could not have envisioned to get into a project like this,” he said.

“It is a big operation. Even if we work with established firms, such as Fortune 500 firms, over a 20-year period, that is 10,000 firm year observations and then we have to look into each of the top executives and board members and collect detail data on them to build the index. It would have been impossible to undertake such a huge task without external funding.”

Award Recipients for Insight Development Grants: February 2020 Competition

Below are Memorial award recipients of SSHRC’s Insight Development Grants, as announced on Aug. 18.

Faculty of Business Administration

  • Ashrafee Hossain, Faculty of Business Administration. Project: Corporate diversity and role of political corruption, $30,220.

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Rose Ricciardelli, Department of Sociology. Project: Correctional staff in Canada: Understanding the armed forces to civilian transition within three prison spaces in Canadian provinces, $57,910.
  • Isabelle Côté, Department of Political Science. Project: “My roots, my rights”: Opposition to internal migration in multinational states, $74,511.
  • Karine Abadie, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures. Project: Lucien Wahl ou l’avenir de la critique cinématographique en France, $45,551.
  • Allyson Stokes, Department of Sociology. Project: From Worst Kept Secrets to Me Too: A Study of Sexual Harassment in Creative Industries, $59,508.
  • Kelley Totten, Department of Folklore. Project: Craft Knowledge and Folk Schools – Examining Craft Education through Danish-modeled Initiatives in North America, $49,524.
  • Sarah Gordon, Department of Folklore. Project: Ts’eneye He Edenets’eridí, Growing and Becoming Yourself: A Study of the Déline Got’ine Creation Story, $70,616.

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