Department of Sociology

Hyun Jeong Ha

M.A., Seoul National University

Hyun Jeong Ha



Political sociology, ethnic and racial relations in the Middle East, ethnic violence, religion and politics, sociology of emotions, gender, Islamic family law, Qualitative methods


Hyun Jeong Ha is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research interests lie at the intersection of political sociology, ethnic and racial relations, religion, and sociology of emotions in the context of the Middle East and North Africa. Based on her ethnographic field research in a Coptic Christian community in Cairo, Egypt, Ha’s dissertation examines how structural inequalities on the basis of religion have led to the construction of an ethnic group. Her recent Ethnic and Racial Studies article, “Emotions of the Weak: Violence and Ethnic Boundaries among Egyptian Christians” (2016), provides a theoretical framework to understand the emotions of the minority in response to sectarian violence and daily microaggressions. Another essay, which examines how schools are powerful institutions that contribute to ethnic boundary creation between Muslim and Christian students, was published in the edited volume, Education and the Arab Spring: Resistance, Reform, and Democracy (Sense Publishers, 2016). Other articles on Islamic family law and gender politics, co-authored with Dr. Mounira M. Charrad, appeared in a monograph by Cambridge University Press (forthcoming) and in The Journal of the Korean Association for Islamic Studies (2008). Ha’s doctoral research has been funded by the Religious Research Association’s Constant H. Jacquet Research Award and multiple fellowships from UT’s Graduate School, the College of Liberal Arts, and the Department of Sociology. She has  been invited to present her work at the national and international conferences of the American Sociological Association, Harvard’s North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies Annual Conference, Wake Forest's The International Conference on Religion, Violence, and Peace, and The 1st International Conference on Contemporary and Historical Approaches to Emotions.


SOC 308N • Compar Relig/Politics/Culture

44915 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM CLA 1.106

Course Description

This course provides students with an understanding of how religion, culture, and power are deeply interconnected (or disassociated) in national politics and how their dynamics affect individuals’ daily lives. The course has two components of theory and empirical cases. We begin the first part of the course with sociological concepts of culture, religion and power drawn from the literature of political sociology and sociology of religion. Following the theoretical framework, we comparatively examine several cases of different countries in America, Middle East, and Asia.


Weber, Max. 2002. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Roxbury Publications.

Durkheim, Emile. 1995. Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Free Press.

Geertz, Clifford.1973. The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. Basic Books.

Said, Edward. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Vintage

Mills, C. Wright. 1967. Sociological Imagination. A Galaxy Book.

*All readings will be available on Canvas.

Grading Policy:

Participation: 10%

Response papers: 30%

Midterm exam: 30%

Final exam: 30%

Attendance Policy:

Students are expected to finish readings before coming to class. Both attendance and engagement in discussion will be reflected to your participation grade.

For religious holy days, students are encouraged to inform the instructor at least one week before her/his absence.

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  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    CLA 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086