Understanding the human kaleidescope.

People. We’re a curious bunch. How we create who we are in relation to others, how we express ourselves the way we do (or not), and the relations we develop (or don’t), are all equally intriguing to me. People are what get me up in the morning.

Here are some of the topics I write about:

Political Psychology | Conflict, Dialogue and Negotiation | Power Structures
Intersubjectivity | Social Representations & Identity
Intergroup Relations

Pandemics, Politics and Performance: The effects of political identity, affective polarization and perceived legitimacy of America’s response to COVID-19

Image: Gayatri Malhotra (Unsplash) The Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party, is doing everything within its semi-considerable power […] to inflame the CoronaVirus situation. – Donald Trump (@realdonaldtrump), March 9, 2020 On December 31, 2019, the Chinese government announced the discovery of an unknown virus, symptomatic of pneumonia, that was affecting locals in Wuhan City in the Hubei province (WHO, 2020). At that time, there was no indication of its spreading through human contact, but China continued to monitor the situation. On January 11, 2020, China reported its first death related to the new virus, which started …

“It’s cool to be African”: understanding representations of black identity through modern Afrobeat music in the United Kingdom

The emergence of the polyrhythmic sounds of what today is known as Afrobeat has been on a steady incline since the late 2000s. As the king of Afrobeat, Nigerian-born Fela Anikulapo Kuti first established this style of music by incorporating sounds of jazz, funk, soul and African juju. But to listeners, Afrobeat music was more than just its distinct African sound; it was a political movement that bolstered black empowerment. Fela was known as a strong social, cultural, economic and political commentator about not just the Nigerian government, but narratives on ‘Blackism’ – nationalist ideologies surrounding the 1960’s black power …

Voyeuristic oppression:social identity theory as informing hierarchical constraints among subordinate groups through a third-party gaze

“Among the oppressed… the will to power appears as the will to freedom” (Ng, 1980: 40) [emphasis added]. In paying homage to Friedrich Nietzsche’s, The Will to Power, Ng (1980) describes how subordinate groups have the ability to free themselves from the figurative ‘governing grip’ of a dominant group through self-construal, or the act of social creative construction of one’s identity. This notion of being able to have a fluid identity is extrapolated from several identity theories, including Social Identity Theory (hereafter SIT) and its subset theory of social categorizations. Although subordinate groups may exercise what appears to be a …

The denial of climate change: how do skeptics and denialists in third-world countries understand global warming? A research proposal

One of the most salient issues arresting the world today is the issue of climate change. While scientists, environmental activists, corporations, politicians and community groups advocate for a drastic change in how humans are living to help prevent further devastation from the consequences of global warming, individuals and groups continue to maintain their skepticism or outright deny climate change. Despite the empirical evidence presented by public bodies, there is a growing number of climate change skeptics and deniers that refuse to believe, or at times, even look at the data. In an attempt to understand why climate change skeptics and …

Radical resistance to discourse: how fundamentalist religious groups use historical narratives as semantic barriers to refuse dialogue in intractable conflicts

Image: Unsplash Research in intractable conflicts among radical fundamentalist groups is an ongoing and well-researched phenomenon. The use of violence among these groups highlights questions of power, historical narratives, emotional contagion, and ideological beliefs. These aspects can be embedded in a group’s collective identity and are often used as dialogical tools to avoid engaging in rational discourse (Bar-Tal, 2007; Hitman, 2016; Martinovski et al., 2017; Nicholson, 2019; Pilecki & Hammack, 2014; Walker & Pettigrew, 1984). The resistance to dialogue among radical fundamentalist groups is what this paper will examine further. Dialogue is not always a feasible answer in preventing violent …

Confronting Canada’s pseudo-multiculturalism policy: a critique of monolithic and trivial social representations of Indigenous identity

Image: Ason Redmond/Agence France-Presse (Getty Images) Canada’s role in constructing social representations of Indigenous identity Canada is a distinctive example that has received international attention for its inclusivity of multicultural diversity and its pluralistic values, especially concerning Indigenous communities. However, while Canada’s model has made improvements from its initial attempt in eliminating racism towards minorities and culturally diverse identities, multiculturalism has yet to adequately address Indigenous experiences and issues. Stereotypes in the form of social representations were used in Canadian law to exert power over and deny Indigenous cultural practices, and legitimize its authority by dehumanizing Indigenous national identity (Corrigan …