Angela Febbraro

Non-Academic Affiliate

Angela Febbraro, a social psychologist by training (PhD 1998), has extensive expertise in gender/diversity issues. Febbraro has spent a substantial portion of her 18-year career, as a Defence Scientist with Canada’s Department of National Defence, applying her expertise to the defence and security context. Febbraro’s specific interests are in countering violent extremism and preventing radicalization through an understanding of the potential role of gender, as a social-cultural construct, in both the promotion and the prevention of extremism/radicalization. Thus, she and her colleagues have been working on the development and assessment of “gender-based counter-radicalization messages/narratives” through a systematic program of empirical research. In their research, they defined gender-based counter-radicalization messages as those featuring either a female protagonist/female experiences (female-targeted counter-messages) or a male protagonist/male experiences (male-targeted counter-messages), while they defined gender-neutral counter-messages as those in which the focus was not specifically geared to either males or females. To date, their findings, based on online survey research conducted with university students, indicate that the development of gender-based counter-radicalization messages may be an effective approach to reducing the perceived appeal of extremist ideologies and thus increasing security. Their future research will examine the perceived effectiveness of other features of counter-messages, including messenger attributes, and other measures of effectiveness (e.g., intentions to share counter-messages; dissuasion against joining extremist groups).

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