Marc-Andre Argentino, is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Religion, at Concordia University and holds a Master’s degree of Theology from Laval University and a Bachelor’s degree of English Literature and Honors Theology from Concordia University. The focus of his doctoral research is on the intersection of religion and social media, as well as how they are used by non-state actors in the creation of propaganda, recruitment of members to extremist causes, and instilling fear. Aspects of his research are used in the construction of CVE programs that use social media and education to achieve their goals. His dissertation is funded by the Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture (FQRSC).
In association with MIGS, Marc-Andre is also the founder of the CONTRA project, which aims to combat the root causes of extremism and radicalization. CONTRA works through both the media and the classroom to teach youths and communities to better understand the complex political world that surrounds them. By providing hands-on training on issues such as xenophobia, Islamophobia, and mediatization, CONTRA hopes to encourage students to think critically about current events, thus promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment to all people.
Marc-Andre’s research interests have been focused on the relational mechanisms that are found between social media and violence, radicalization, and terrorism. He is also interested in the socio-psychological role religion can play in violence and radicalization. He has experience in constructing profiles of potential targets of social media recruitment by violent extremist groups. His goal in understanding this process is to not only identify possible individuals vulnerable to radicalization and extremism, but to ultimately counter violent extremism.