ISPP Virtual Seminar Series – Asia-Pacific Region September 2022


Building Solidarity between Oppressed Groups in India: An Intersectional Approach


Organizers: Ying-yi Hong, Diwa Malaya Quinones, Peter Beattie, Idhamsyah Eka Putra

Date & Time: 30 September (Friday) 2022, at 11:30am-1:30pm (New Delhi Time) or 2-4pm (Hong Kong time)

Host/Moderator: Dr. Rakshi Rath, Krea University, India

Speaker: Dr. Rashmi Nair, Ashoka University, India


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Meeting ID: 912 3595 2387

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Social psychological research on building solidarity between oppressed groups remains scarce. Moreover, this research has taken a singular approach – meaning researchers have focused on factors linked with single-group membership in their analysis, while factors associated with intersecting identities have remained unexamined. Furthermore, this research has predominantly focused on western contexts using quantitative approaches that prioritize the conceptualization of the researcher over that of participants. Addressing these gaps and drawing on the feminist framework of intersectionality, this presentation brings findings from two qualitative studies –Study 1 included 33 individual interviews; Study 2 involved 12 focus groups– conducted among two under-researched oppressed groups in India - Dalits (lower-castes) and Muslims. These studies investigated how Dalits and Muslims perceive experiences linked with their intersecting identities. Thematic analysis revealed various beliefs linked with intersecting identities that can shape relations between oppressed groups. These intersectional victim beliefs can serve as additional sources of tensions and solidarity between oppressed groups along with beliefs linked with single-identity groups. I will also discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.


Speaker Bio

Dr. Rashmi Nair is an Assistant Professor at Ashoka University, India. Before joining Ashoka, Dr. Nair worked at the U.S. Congress through a competitively awarded fellowship dually supported by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Nair received a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Clark University (USA) and Masters in Clinical Psychology from Christ University (India).


Her research focuses on experiences of group-based victimization based on various social identities such as caste, religion, and nationality, and examines the implications of people’s beliefs linked with these experiences for intergroup relations and policy outcomes. In studying this, she has employed both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and worked with historically-disadvantaged communities both in India and internationally. Her research has received funding support from various scientific societies including the American Psychological Association, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the International Peace Research Association Foundation.