What it means to belong
Associate Professor of Sociology Sahar Sadeghi draws on his own experience as an inspiration for research on Iranian expatriates which will be published as a book this autumn.
Writes: Megan Kita
Tuesday, July 5, 2022 07:43 AM
Associate Professor Sahar Sadeghi of the Department of Sociology. Photo by Marco Calderon
One of the courses taught by Associate Professor of Sociology Sahar Sadeghi is the Senior Seminar, where majors complete research on a subject of their choice. The field of sociology – which deals with culture, social and structural systems and human relations – is wide, so simply provides students with a prompt; This year and the end, their projects had to be related to the epidemic. He also advised the students: “Do something that is close to your heart and dear to you. In sociology and anthropology and many other fields, you know more than you know. Your interest and experience is really important. “
In this way he has approached his own research in the emerging field of Iranian expatriate studies. As a PhD. A student at Temple University, his research paper was on the experiences of Iranian immigrants in Germany and California. Sadeghi, whose parents are Iranian immigrants, moved to the Bay Area from Germany when she was 12 years old.
“My idea was that the issues of rights and social citizenship are not the same [in the two places]”Whether it’s a farce or not, the United States prides itself on being a country of immigrants. It has an active immigration policy and recruits immigrants to come here. For most economic reasons, the United States has always been an immigrant-accepting country,” he says. Not Germany. They are a refugee-accepting society. “
To conduct the study, she spent six months in Germany and six months in California, the state where most Iranian immigrants live, conducting interviews. He learned that national and global political contexts and policies are crucial to a community’s ability to feel like a participating member of a society, and that social membership is deeply influenced by both domestic and global events and politics. He has published an article based on his research Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies In 2015, he collapsed after joining Muhellenberg as a visiting professor.
During the refugee crisis in Europe, Sadeghi returned to Germany in the summer of 2016 to interview some similar people. He wanted to explore how Germany’s acceptance of 1.2 million refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq, more than any other European country, changed the experience and perception of Iranian immigrants.
“Most of them told me, ‘I don’t want these refugees here. We were once accepted. Now these new refugees are coming, “said Sadeghi, who published the study in the journal. Ethnic and racial studies In the autumn of 2018. “The data I collected in the summer of 2016 was extremely rich. It confirms what I have said in my research and adds another layer. “
Since the election of Donald Trump, Sadeghi has returned to California three times to interview the same immigrants he interviewed for his research. He asked how the new administration’s policies (such as “Muslim sanctions” and additional sanctions against Iran) had affected their experience. Just before conducting his final interview in 2018, he attended the American Sociological Association conference, where he met an editor of the NYU press who was interested in his research, particularly follow-up work.
“Follow-up research and qualitative research are very difficult. You are working with people and their stories. You try to use the same sample, but you are annoyed, ”Sadeghi said, noting that he was able to re-interview about half of the 64 participants surveyed for his research. He believed in his research-even continuing throughout his time as a contingent faculty member without job security এবং and that it would be published as a book, Radicalizing and politicizing the IraniansThis fall with the NYU press.
“One way I have to develop scholars is that you have to go with your own instincts,” he says. “Confidence is actually a big part of it.”
This is a lesson he tries to impart to students, through his role in the new Graduate School Preparatory Program and in the classroom. He noted that students lack their confidence across the board regardless of social, educational and financial background. He sees his role as twofold: first, he must educate students about research methods, cultural and structural arrangements (and their flaws), and other foundations of his discipline. At the same time, he wants to nurture students ’self-confidence, both as scholars and as agents of social change.
“The students who come to our department are very passionate people. Who wants to keep coming to the classroom and find fault with the world? When it comes to major and minor, they already want to be a force for good, ”he says. “When they are in senior seminars, they have found their voice. They are coming into themselves. They have created these core ideas. Their writing has been good. You think, ‘Here’s my job somehow.’