Uluğ to Explore Solidarity Experiences Among Activists, Academics for Peace in Turkey

Özden Melis Uluğ
Özden Melis Uluğ

Özden Melis Uluğ, a post-doctoral researcher in the Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, will deliver a talk titled “Solidarity is the kindness between peoples: An exploration of solidarity experiences among activists and academics for peace in Turkey” on Thursday, Nov. 17 at noon in Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall 160 East.

This program, which is part of the Interdisciplinary Seminar on Conflict and Violence, is open to everyone. Refreshments will be served.

Uluğ holds a bachelor’s major in psychology and a minor in studies in politics from Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She received her master’s in political psychology with distinction from Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland and her doctorate in psychology from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany.

She focused on the socially shared conflict understandings among different segments of society (e.g., politicians, scholars and journalists, and lay people) in the context of the Kurdish conflict in Turkey. Uluğ has also conducted follow-up studies to understand the role of intergroup contact in different status groups on conflict understandings and peace-related outcomes, such as attitudes toward reconciliation and peace.

In addition to intergroup conflict, reconciliation and peace, her research interests include collective action and solidarity between disadvantaged groups. She has recently conducted both qualitative and quantitative studies on protestors’ motivations and their solidarity experiences in the context of Gezi Park protests in 2013 in Turkey. She expects to conduct more research on how disadvantaged groups such as women and blacks experience contact with the advantaged groups in the context of protests and activism in the U.S.

The first part of the talk will be devoted to a discussion on the solidarity dynamics among the activists in the Gezi Park protests. Uluğ seeks to show that the Gezi Park protests functioned as an intergroup phenomenon that required the cooperation of a number of disadvantaged groups in solidarity to bring about social change. Also, in close relation to solidarity theme, the second part of the talk will be devoted to political solidarity among “Academics for Peace.” She will discuss how a network of solidarity at the national and international level might bring about change that would benefit disadvantaged groups.