Melanee Thomas, PhD

PhD in Political Science with specialization in gender, political behaviour, and Canada McGill University

Melanee Thomas

Areas of Research

Gender and Politics, Canadian Politics, Political Behaviour, Energy Transition
My research addresses the causes and consequences of gender-based political inequality, with a particular focus on political attitudes and behaviour. I use Canadian politics as a foundation for my work. My objectives are to identify how Canadians think about themselves in politics, explain how this is structured by gender, sexism, and racism, and then develop potential solutions that ameliorate and strengthen our democratic politics. I currently have three main research streams. The first examines Canadian political parties, elections, and political institutions, addressing equity in candidate nominations, diversity and electoral districting, and gendered political careers. The second addresses gender and politics, with a focus on psychological orientations to politics, sexism and competition, and gendered mediation. The third stream investigates how anti-Indigenous racism, public opinion, elite narratives, and federalism shape energy transition in Canada.
Research Methods
I am methodologically open minded and use multifaceted methods to best answer the questions I ask. This includes large-N surveys, experiments, content analysis, transformation of publicly available data, interviews, and archival work. This makes my research stronger, and more digestible and relevant for public engagement. This approach strongly structures my mentorship and teaching too, as I want my students to be primarily guided by their curiosity.

Supervising degrees

Political Science - Doctoral: Accepting Inquiries
Political Science - Masters: Accepting Inquiries

Working with this supervisor

Ideally, the students I bring onto my research team would be interested in the empirical study of gender and politics and/or Canadian politics. Students should be eager to build their empirical research skills, both as research assistants and in their own work.

My preferred approach to supervision and mentorship is to start by getting to know my students and their interests, as well as any fears or concerns they might have. I follow this with a candid conversation about their ultimate goals, be that an assignment, theirthesis, a research task, or their career plans. Then, I find the best approach is to figure out how to break that task into digestiblesteps. Much of my current practice follows advice popularized by Wendy Belcher about planning, interrogating, reading, andrevising our own arguments and writing. When students encounter roadblocks, we work together to identify what the challengesare, and what’s working and what isn’t. This informs a new approach. Weekly check-ins, either one on one or as a team, help to keep work on track and confidence high.

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