The University of Massachusetts Amherst


Fareen Parvez

Associate Professor

Fareen Parvez's research looks at the relationship between politics and religion, through the method of comparative ethnography. Her book, Politicizing Islam: the Islamic Revival in France and India (Oxford University Press, 2017), draws on two years of participant observation among Muslim communities in Lyon, France, and Hyderabad, India. In this book she demonstrates how social class relations and types of state secularism impact the varieties of Islamic movements taking place in secular democracies. For some short essays related to this research, see: "The problem with liberalizing Islam," "A view from the margins of the banlieue," or "Politicizing Islam: An introduction." Her work has also appeared in such publications as Newsweek, SalonThe Guardian, and LA Times among others.

As a former fellow of the Social Science Research Council's New Directions in the Study of Prayer, she has also conducted ethnographic research on the topic of politics and faith healing in Morocco. She is currently a member (2019-20) of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where she is working on a project examining debt and predatory lending based on research she completed in low-income neighborhoods in India. This research was supported by the American Institute of India Studies.

Her courses include the sociology of religion, social theory, contemporary Marxist theory, and ethnographic methods. Parvez is a senior research scholar with the UMass Resistance Studies Inititive.


PhD, Sociology, University of California at Berkeley, 2011
MPP, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, School of Public Policy
BA (honors), Political Science, University of California at Berkeley

Research Interests

Political Sociology, Social Theory, Gender, Racial Institutions, Development and Globalization, Ethnography, Sociology of Religion

Selected Publications

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2017. Politicizing Islam: the Islamic Revival in France and India. New York: Oxford University Press.

   » Winner of the ASA Section on Religion Distinguished Book Award, 2018; SSSP Global Division Best Book Award, 2018; ASA Section on Political Sociology, Honorable Mention, 2018

   » Featured in Review Symposium, European Journal of Sociology (Jan 2019)

Z. Fareen Parvez. "The Sorrow of Parting: Ethnographic depth and the role of emotions." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. 47(4): 454-483.

Z. Fareen Parvez. "Toward a Global Sociology of Religion." Teaching Sociology. 45(4): 313-323.

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2016. “Prayer and Pedagogy: Redefining education among Salafist women in France.Journal of Religious and Political Practice 2(1): 23-39.

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2014. “Celebrating the Prophet: Religious nationalism and the politics of Milad-un-Nabi festivals in India.” Nations and Nationalism 20(2): 218-238.

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2013. “Recognition and Antipolitics among Muslims in France: Representing ‘Islam of the Banlieues’” in Muslim political participation in Europe, edited by Jørgen S. Nielsen. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2011. “Debating the Burqa in France: the Antipolitics of Islamic Revival.Qualitative Sociology 34(2): 287-312.

     » Winner of the ASA Section on Religion Best Graduate Student Paper Award, 2010.

     » Translated into French and reprinted in Quand la burqa pass à l'Ouest: Enjeux éthiques, politiques et juridiques​, edited by Olivier Roy and David Koussens. 2014. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes. 

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2006. “The Labor of Pleasure: How Emotional Labor Impacts Women’s Perceptions of Pornography.” Gender & Society 20(5): 605-631.