Azedi earns Romney Award for work examining role of job insecurity in motivating individuals' decisions to join protests
- June 10, 2023
- Honor recognizes sociology Ph.D. student for outstanding graduate paper in social sciences
Arman Azedi, sixth-year sociology graduate student, is a recipient of the A. Kimball Romney Award for Outstanding Graduate Paper. The honor recognizes his work investigating the role of job insecurity in motivating individuals' decisions to join protests across 18 countries, considering a range of other economic difficulties people experience and the macro-level economic characteristics of their country. “Our political world today is uniquely contentious and unpredictable, and by investigating why people take part in political action, vote in certain ways, and believe certain things, my hope is that we will have greater clarity not only on our present historical moment but also on where we are headed,” he says. Below, the grad student who earned his undergrad in sociology and psychology at UC Riverside, expands on his research and plans after earning his Ph.D.
What brought you to UC Irvine, and what interests you most about your work?
The impressive reputation of UCI’s sociology department, particularly in the fields of social movements and political sociology, was a major reason behind my decision to pursue a Ph.D. here. For me, the most interesting component of my work is engaging with political issues we see on the news, in popular culture, and so on, and exploring them in deeper, scientific ways to reveal underlying causes that otherwise would be difficult to notice without substantive research.
Tell us about your research. What problem will your findings help solve?
My research seeks to illuminate how contemporary economic, cultural, and social dynamics influence a variety of political outcomes—from social movements to generational conflict to the success of populist parties. Our political world today is uniquely contentious and unpredictable, and by investigating why people take part in political action, vote in certain ways, and believe certain things, my hope is that we will have greater clarity not only on our present historical moment but also on where we are headed.
Where can your work be found if someone wanted to learn more about your research?
My research has been featured in the journals Sociological Perspectives and The Sociological Quarterly:
Azedi, Arman. 2023. “Does Job Insecurity Motivate Protest Participation? A Multilevel Analysis of Working Age People From 18 Developed Countries.” Sociological Perspectives 66(3):476-495.
Azedi, Arman and Evan Schofer. 2023. “Assessing the Anti-Globalization Movement: Protests against the IMF, World Bank, and WTO in Cross-national Perspective.” The Sociological Quarterly, forthcoming.
I have additional papers in progress investigating how beliefs about democracy and authoritarianism are important in driving individuals’ decisions to vote for left-wing and right-wing populists.
What funding sources have helped finance your work?
I’ve received the Kugelman Peacebuilding Research Fellowship from UCI’s Center for Citizen Peacebuilding and received funding on a research project from the Jack W. Peltason Center for the Study of Democracy.
Outside of research, what other campus activities have you been involved in while at UCI?
I was a Pedagogical Fellow with UCI’s Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, received the Associate Dean’s Fellowship, and am involved in DTEI’s Summer Teaching Apprenticeship Program.
Who have been your faculty mentors while here, and what impact have they had on your graduate career?
Most notably, my advisor Evan Schofer (sociology) always provides tremendously insightful advice, critique, and encouragement on my work and has been a constant source of motivation for me throughout the program. Additionally, I can always count on Yang Su, Edwin Amenta, David Meyer, and Russell Dalton to impart invaluable scholarly wisdom when we meet.
When do you plan to complete your Ph.D.? What are your plans thereafter? How has UCI prepared you well for this role?
I plan to complete my Ph.D. by the end of 2023 and would like to continue teaching and doing research afterwards, ideally at a teaching-focused university in California. In addition to studying political outcomes like protesting and voting, I would like to study ideological trends among Millennials and Generation Z and religious trends in the Middle East.
Any other tidbits you’d like to share?
I dunked a basketball one time.
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