The becoming-jihadist of young Canadians, French and Belgians

This research is part of a doctoral thesis at the School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies at the University of Ottawa.

This research seeks to understand the becoming-jihadist of Western youth; to grasp these arrangements of life that can lead to becoming, including becoming-jihadist. Several questions arise: How does a young Westerner come to envision jihad as a possible becoming? What attracts or pushes him to become? What affects him? What makes him act? What makes his desire for becoming – jihadist grow? How does it give meaning to all this?

It will therefore be necessary to see how a rhizomic approach can offer a new light on the phenomenon, or even answer our questions from this angle. This implies thinking of the human not as “being” but as “becoming” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1980 ; Ingold, 2013) and understanding the social not as explanatory but as something being done (Latour, 2006). Similarly, Deleuze and Guattari (1980) bring a way of thinking about the social world not as existing as fixed and stable ontology but as continuously emerging. Thus, although their work is rarely explicitly sociological, their concepts carry profound implications for social practice and theory. The place of their approach is undeniable in sociology and it is a question here of offering a new application on the subject of becoming-jihadist.