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SEMINAR | Sociology Matters: Addressing Violence through Research and Activism



Start Date

16 Dec 2016 12:00 pm

End Date

16 Dec 2016 2:00 pm

Institute for the Study of Social Change logo

An Institute for the Study of Social Change and the School of Social Sciences seminar

presented by

Professor Margaret Abraham, Hofstra University, New York


For decades social scientists, feminist sociologists, activists and anti-violence movements have drawn attention to gendered inequalities and global problem of violence against women. Despite significant successes, gender inequality persists and intersects with other forms of inequalities. Gender based and intersectional violence is an important part of ongoing dialogue and debates about progress, equality and justice. This presentation will focus on the importance of sociological research and activism in addressing violence against women. Successes and challenges in linking research and activism in shifting violence against women from a private problem into public issue, engaging in collaborative community building, and shaping meaningful pedagogy, policies and practices for progressive change will be addressed. Particular emphasis will be on an intersectional framework in addressing violence against women and issues of oppression and exclusion. The case of the United States will be used to demonstrate lessons learned from research and activism that highlights the problems, possibilities and limits of state policy solutions focused on criminalization as a solution to end violence against women. This presentation does not attempt to provide an array of alternatives. Rather it invites a broader discussion to explore and consider ways to collaborate and coordinate a global network of sociologists, community based organizations, activists, policy-makers, and survivors, who will draw upon local, national, regional and global experiences to provide solutions for mitigating gendered and intersectional violence.

Margaret Abraham is Professor of Sociology at Hofstra University and is the President of the International Sociological Association, (ISA 2014-2018). She previously served as ISA Vice President of Research and as the American Sociological Association Representative (ASA) to the ISA (2010-2014). Her teaching and research interests include gender, ethnicity, globalization, migration and domestic violence. Courses that she teaches include senior seminars on "Violence Against Women" and "Globalization, Work and Citizenship" (Soc 191); Women, Gender and Development (soc 32) and Public Sociology (Soc191). Margaret has published in various journals including Gender & Society,Violence Against Women, Indian Journal of Gender Studies and Social Justice. She is the author of Speaking the Unspeakable: Marital Violence Among South Asian Immigrants in the United States (Rutgers University press 2000), the first book on domestic violence within the South Asian diaspora in the United States and won the American Sociological Association: Section on Asian and Asian America Outstanding Book Award in 2002. She also co-edited,Contours of Citizenship: Women, Diversity and the Practices of Citizenship published by Ashgate (Spring 2010); andMaking a Difference: Linking Research and Action (Current Sociology Monograph:SAGE 2012).

Margaret has been involved in research and activism in the field of domestic violence in the South Asian immigrant community for over 20 years. She serves on the editorial boards of journals and has been an advisory board member and consultant on national projects related to issues on violence against women. She served on the Board of Directors of Sakhi for South Asian Women and the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS (APICHA) and Westbury Friends School in Long Island, New York. Margaret has been honored for her community action research by several organizations including Sakhi for South Asian Women, Apna Ghar in Chicago, Domestic Harmony Foundation, Indus Women Leaders, the Indian American Kerala Cultural and Civic Center, and the Office of the Executive, Nassau County, State of New York. In 2013 she received the Sociologists for Women in Society Feminist Activism Award. Her work has been profiled and quoted in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday, India Abroad, Malayalam Pathram, India Today,, and Rip Rap: The Academic Book Program.

(For more information go to Margaret’s website)

Friday 16 December, 12 noon to 2.00pm (please bring your lunch with you)

Room 210 Social Sciences (Sandy Bay Campus) video linked to NH172 (Newstead)

For more information please contact Dr Louise Grimmer

Event Flyer (PDF 441KB)


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