Research Topics

Collective Action by Indigenous Nations; Public Opinion (Immigration, Trust)

Research Interests

Collective Action by Indigenous Nations

Recent decades have witnessed resurgence in the extent to which members of Indigenous nations have used direct and collective action to resist Canadian colonialism. As a whole, not including the many Idle No More events, there have been more than five hundred resistance events since the 1980s.  My work seeks to documents these events and to trace the connection between structural factors and the decision to mobilize.  A series of papers also considers the quality and quantity of media coverage these events have received.  I am currently conducting a study of the multiple meanings the media attributed to an iconic photograph taken during the 1990 Siege at Kahnesatake/Oka standoff.

Public Opinion on Immigration and Trust

Time, as the saying goes, matters. Attitudes change, often dramatically, from year to year. While previous studies have focused on attitudinal differences within and across countries, most only consider a single, or, at best, a few points in time. This line of research uses repeated cross-sectional data to study the causes of trends in attitudes towards immigration and trust over time.

Selected Publications

Wilkes, Rima. 2015. “Political Conflict Photographs and Their Keywords Texts.” Journalism Studies 1-27 DOI:10.1080/1461670X.2015.1006908

Wilkes, Rima. 2015. “We Trust in Government, Just not in Yours: Race, Partisanship and Political Trust 1958-2012.” Social Science Research 49: 356-371.

(featured in Washington Post, Oct  30, 2014; HipHopRepublican Nov 15, 2014;  The Black Conservative Nov 14, 2014;  Phys.Org Oct 29, 2014; ScienceDaily Oct 29, 2014)

Pottie-Sherman, Yolande and Rima Wilkes. 2015. “Visual Media and the Social Construction of the Benign Canadian border on National Geographic’s Border Security” Social and Cultural Geography 1-20.

Pottie-Sherman, Yolande and Rima Wilkes. 2015. “Does Size Really Matter? On the Relationship Between Immigrant Group Size and Anti-Immigrant Prejudice.”  International Migration Review. (in press)

Wilkes, Rima and Michael Kehl. 2014.  “One Image, Multiple Nationalisms: Face to Face and the Siege at Kanehsatà:ke” Nations and Nationalism 20: 481-502.

Pottie-Sherman, Yolande and Rima Wilkes. 2014. “Good Code Bad Code: Exploring the Immigration-Nation Dialectic Through Media Coverage of the Hérouxville ‘Code of Life’ Document” Migration Studies.1-23.

Wilkes Rima. 2014.  “Trust in Government: A Micro-Macro ApproachJournal of Trust Research 4: 113-131.

Corrigall-Brown, Catherine and Rima Wilkes. 2012. “Picturing Protest: The Visual Framing of Collective Action by First Nations in Canada.” American Behavioral Scientist 56: 223-243.

Wilkes, Rima. 2011. “Re-thinking the Decline in Trust: A Comparison of Black and White AmericansSocial Science Research 40: 1596-1610.

Wilkes, Rima and Catherine Corrigall-Brown. 2011. “Explaining Time Trends in Public Opinion: Attitudes Towards Immigration and Immigrants.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology.52: 79-99.

Wilkes, Rima, Corrigall-Brown Catherine and Daniel Myers. 2010. “Packaging Protest: Media Coverage of Indigenous People’s Collective Action.” Canadian Review of Sociology. 47: 349-379.

Wilkes, Rima, Guppy Neil and Lily Farris. 2007.  “Right Wing Parties and Anti-Foreigner Sentiment in Europe.” Comment. American Sociological Review. 72: 831-840.

Recent Presentations

Wilkes Rima. 2014.  “Picturing and Packaging Protest: Newsmedia Coverage of Political Conflict .” Department of Psychology, Simon  Fraser University, Canada. November 28.

Wilkes, Rima. 2014. “Trust: Definitions, Origins and ImportanceLiu Institute for Global Issues, Vancouver B.C.

Wilkes, Rima. 2014. “Cross-Sectional Data Doesn’t Cut it: On using Repeated Cross Sectional Data” Research Methods workshop organized by Canadian Sociological Association, Canadian Sociological Association Conference, St. Catherines, ON.

Wilkes, Rima. 2012. “Who Trust Government? A New Approach to the Study of Opinion Trends.” Population Research Group and Department of Sociology. University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.

Wilkes, Rima and Michael Kehl. 2012. “Diffusing Face to Face: How a Single Image of Collective Action Came to Define a Nation.” Social Movements Societies Workshop. University of Ottawa. Ottawa, ON.

Wilkes, Rima and Yolande Pottie- Sherman. 2012. “Attitudes Towards Immigration in Canada.”  Center for the Study of North America.  Mexico City, Mexico.

Wilkes, Rima. 2011. “Explaining Trends in Political Trust.” Center for Public Opinion and Party Research. Simon Fraser University Harbor Center, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Winter 2016

SOCI310A Canadian Society - CANADIAN SOCIETY Sections

Social organization of Canadian society: relationships between social institutions and social processes (e.g., economics, education, family, law, media, and politics); including issues of ancestry, ethnicity, gender, region, and social class.

Winter 2016

SOCI464A Social Movements - SOCIAL MOVEMENTS Sections

A study of the sources, stages, and effects of social movements in developing and modernized societies.

Current Graduate Students:

Cary Wu “Trust in China” (Ph.D supervisor)
Maggie Low “Great Bear Rainforest” (Ph.D committee)
Sarah Fessenden “Food not Bombs” (Ph.D committee)
Mabel Ho “Immigration and organization” (Ph.D. committee)

Completed Theses:

Devon Deckant 2014 “BC wilderness preservation” (M.A., committee)

Rheana Hetherington 2014 “Media and journalistic newsgathering” (M.A. committee)

Michaela Montaner 2014 “Media and drug reporting” (M.A., committee)

Lily Ivanova 2014 “Museums and memory” (M.A. committee)

Junrong Du 2014 “Pearl River Delta, China” (Ph.D. committee)

Adam Easterbrook 2013 “Masculinity, sexuality and the experiences of adolescent American men” (Ph.D. supervisor)

Monica Hwang 2013 “In Canada we trust: understanding social and political trust” (Ph.D. committee)

Yolande Pottie-Sherman 2013 “Vancouver’s night markets” intercultural encounter in urban and suburban Chinatowns” (Ph.D. committee)

Evan Duggen 2011 “Framing Protest: the Globe and Mail and the G8-G20: when protest becomes a riot story.” (M.A. committee)

Joanna Robinson 2011 “Contested Water: the Struggle against Water Privatization in the United States and Canada” (Ph.D committee)

Todd Malineck 2009 “Activist participation, mobilization and movement-media interactions: three studies of the British Columbia environmental
movement” (Ph.D committee )

Charlene Warrington 2008 “Education attitudes in Vancouver schools” (M.A. supervisor / with Neil Guppy),

Emily Marshall 2007 “The healthcare needs of adolescents” (Ph.D. committee)

Lian Bai 2007 “Open hearts and open access for immigrant professionals: Chinese immigrant engineers” (Ph.D. committee)

Feng Zhang 2007 “Attitudes in Chinese villages” (Ph.D. committee)

Benjamin Cushing 2007 “Dreaming we walk: CIPO-Van and the search for resistance and creation” (M.A. committee)

Lily Farris 2007 “Attitudes toward immigration in three nations” (M.A. supervisor/with Neil Guppy)

Elliey Hobouti-Fard 2006 “Citizenship, nation, and identity: a study of the framing of the Maher Arar case in Canada’s two national newspapers, 2002-2004” (M.A. supervisor)

Jerilee Valenzuela 2005 “The gender of job applicants: different standards for lack of competence?” (M.A. committee)

Thea Berretta 2004 “Media and activism at the Woodwards site” (M.A. committee)

Jay Fiddler 2003 “Factors affecting blood donation” (M.A. committee)


Executive Editor, Canadian Review of Sociology


Ph.D., M.A. Sociology, University of Toronto
B.A. Sociology, Queen’s University