Patrick Imbert


Patrick Imbert
Distinguished University Professor

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Patrick Imbert


Faculty of Arts
Département de français

Understanding stereotypes to improve relations in a multicultural Canada

Our perceptions of society depend on the messages transmitted by the media - newspapers, magazines, books, movies, the Internet, and others. These messages form stereotypes. The stereotypes media form in our minds have international implications, since they alter the way we perceive ourselves as well as others. Dr. Patrick Imbert's research seeks to identify these stereotypes and how our perceptions are altered by media.

We live in a society where those who can capitalize on and manipulate information are a small but powerful group. To be competitive and creative in this environment, the ability to effectively transmit self-images in multiple areas of information reception is crucial. As Canada seeks to live within a global framework, many francophones find themselves in an enviable position, thanks to their ability to communicate fluently in French and English, two global languages. In an information society poised for the future, identity questions are of prime relevance. The University Research Chair (URC) will enable Dr. Imbert to pursue this important and timely research.

Dr. Imbert's project reflects the goal to produce university research that is pertinent as well as socially responsible. The research raises interesting questions about social harmony in the context of a multicultural Canada. We often forget that our vision of Canada as a nation that promotes respect and harmony among its diverse ethnic groups is relatively new. Less than 50 years ago, European racist theories were commonplace, and they are still far from extinct today. The planned research project paves the way towards improved relations, a deeper understanding of stereotyping, and a clearer definition of obstacles that will need to be overcome.

Dr. Imbert is a distinguished scholar who is admired for his originality of thought, his university activities, and his intellectual curiosity, in addition to his desire to explore new areas. Of note is his success in drawing attention to semiotics when it was a relatively unknown field. Dr. Imbert's reputation far exceeds this country's borders; he has succeeded in creating international relationships and collaborating with colleagues around the globe who share similar research interests. These collaborations have been enhanced by his ability to communicate in French, English and Spanish. Dr. Imbert is an international ambassador of the University of Ottawa as well as of his country.

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