Registration for conference required. Visit conference Web site for more information.
This conference is sponsored by the Weatherhead Initiative for International Affairs, which has funded the project "A Comparative Study of Responses to Discrimination by Members of Stigmatized Groups" since 2007.
This project, which also benefited from support from the National
Science Foundation and the US-Israel Bi-National Science
Foundation, brings together a group of social scientists who
analyze anti-racist strategies used by stigmatized groups in
Brazil, Israel, and the United States. We have completed gathering
and coding over 160 interviews in each of the sites and are in the
process of preparing a special issue of the journal Ethnic and
Racial Studies, as well as a synthetic comparative volume. We
look forward to presenting and discussing our results with our
colleagues at Harvard and beyond.
It is with this goal in mind that we are organizing our April conference. This conference will feature our comparative project on anti-racism, as well as cognate research by the Successful Societies Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. This interdisciplinary group has been working together since 2003 to study the determinants of societal success. Several members of the group have developed an interest in the study of social inclusion and porous boundaries and are pursuing a research agenda that is related to that of the Weatherhead Initiative Project. The April conference will be an occasion to create a dialogue between these groups of researchers. In addition, the conference will feature research by Harvard graduate students that also concerns destigmatization strategies across a range of contexts in Europe, North America, and in the Global South. Their research will be discussed by experts from a range of disciplines.
The papers to be presented consider how responses to racism and discrimination are affected by the broader social and cultural contexts in which individuals are located. Contexts include the degree to which racial categories and identities are institutionalized and taken for granted, dominant cultural repertoires concerning shared myths, symbolic communities and collective memory, the character and extent of racial and ethnic inequality, and the porousness and overlap between racial and class boundaries. We aim to combine cultural and social analysis to understand how social and symbolic boundaries are changed from below and feed into the transformations promoted by social movements and social and cultural policy makers.