Author: Hajar Yazdiha, The Conversation
Hajar Yazdiha is an Assistant Professor of Sociology, faculty affiliate of the Equity Research Institute, a 2022-23 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, and a William T. Grant Advanced Quantitative Critical Methods (AQCM) Scholar of the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (2020-23). Dr. Yazdiha received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is a former Turpanjian Postdoctoral Fellow of the Chair in Civil Society and Social Change. Dr. Yazdiha's research examines the mechanisms underlying the politics of inclusion and exclusion as they shape intergroup boundaries, ethno-racial identities, and intergroup relations. This work crosses subfields of race and ethnicity, migration, social movements, culture, and law using mixed methods including interview, survey, historical, and computational text analysis. Her book project is forthcoming in May 2023 with Princeton University Press titled, "The Struggle for the People’s King: How Politics Transforms the Memory of the Civil Rights Movement." The book examines how a wide range of rivaling social movements across the political spectrum – from the Muslim Rights Movement to the Nativist Movement - deploy competing interpretations of the Civil Rights Movement to make claims around national identity and inclusion. Comparing how rival movements constituted by minority and majority groups with a range of identities — racial, gender, sexuality, religious, moral, political — battle over collective memory, the book documents how political action becomes directed toward divergent imagined futures. In other research projects, Dr. Yazdiha investigates these questions through three central lines of inquiry. A first strand of research explores how social exclusion is produced in macro-structures like laws, policies, and media. A second strand of research explores how and when groups develop perceptions of ‘groupness’ and collective identity in relation to these broader structures. A third strand of research investigates the collective behaviors that result from perceptions of groupness and their outcomes. This research provides new insights into the relationship between macro-level institutional structures, meso-level group processes of collective identity formation and collective behavior, and micro-level perceptions, emotions, and mental health. This body of research works to expose the covert consequences of institutional practices to show how systems of inequality are reproduced and examine how everyday actors develop strategies to resist, contest, and create social change.