Diasporic Identity And Political Action: Palestinian Student Activism On Ontario University Campuses
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 10:42 authored by Laura Ashfield
This study focuses on how young Palestinians in the diaspora understand their identity, and whether this understanding, as well external perceptions of identity, shape their political actions in terms of solidarity movements with Palestine on Ontario campuses. Eight Palestinian activists (aged 19 – 32) were interviewed about their perceptions of identity and experiences of activism. The findings suggest that the participants have a strong Palestinian identity maintained by their connections to home and their involvement in Palestinian activism. The participants’ engagement with activism reinforced their Palestinian identity, pointing to the interconnected relationship between identity and political action. When examining the experiences of activism on campus, participants garnered support but also faced challenges from pro-Israel groups and university administrations. The implications of these findings are significant to political and academic freedom in Canada and will hopefully encourage universities to foster nondiscriminatory political debate and ensure that all voices are heard.