Fareen Parvez

Associate Professor

Fareen Parvez's current research looks at predatory lending and its relationship to other forms of exploitation in low-income neighborhoods in India. This work draws on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation among Muslim and Dalit communities. Her previous research focused on 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; expected re-release in 2022), 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.

Other ongoing research projects include a qualitative study on faith healing in Fez, Morocco, and a collaborative study of a major land occupation struggle called La ZAD in western France. Her work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the American Institute of Indian Studies, the Society for the Social Scientific Study of Religion, and the Network for the Social Scientific Study of Science and Religion. 

As a committed public sociologist, she writes with the Debt Justice Working Group of the Progressive International and with various other forums. Parvez was a 2019-20 member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

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 Initiative.


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, Sociology of Debt, Sociology of Religion, Social Theory, Gender, Racial Institutions, Ethnography 

Selected Publications

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2022. "Varieties of Misrecognition: Connecting Bourdieu and Fanon toward an analysis of racialized Islamic fields." Sociological Theory 40(3): 272-296. 

Z. Fareen Parvez. 2021. “Reflections on Mutual Aid.” In Pandemic Exposures: Economy and Society in the Time of Coronavirus, edited by Didier Fassin and Marion Fourcade. Chicago: HAU Books. Pp. 209-225.

Garner, Ashley and Parvez, Z. Fareen. 2020. “Gender and the Racialization of Muslims.” In Religion Is Raced: Understanding American Religion in the 21st Century, edited by Grace Yukich and Penny Edgell. New York: New York University Press. Pp. 134-156.

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.