Postdoctoral Abd el-Kader Fellow
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Jeff Guhin is the Abd El-Kader postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He is a sociologist with specialties in education, religion, theory, and culture. His first book is titled Make the Children Come to Me: Moral Authority and the Problem of America in Christian and Muslim Schools, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Currently, he is conducting fieldwork for his next book, an ethnographic comparison of morality and citizenship in three urban public school districts. This work is a part of the Institute’s School Cultures and Student Formation Project, for which Jeff is the lead researcher for urban public schools. Jeff has many papers in various stages of publication on topics ranging from Edward Said to the moral salience of evolution. He received his doctorate in Sociology from Yale University in 2013.
His work centers around a few key theoretical concerns: (1) the cognitive, social, and institutional processes through which people’s values and orienting commitments are developed and (2) the relationship between authority and what political philosophers call “positive and negative freedom.” These concerns are buttressed by an ongoing interest in qualitative methodology, especially the conditions necessary for ethnographic comparison and (in response to “situationist” critiques) the processes through which groups and individuals maintain a coherent identity over time.
He has studied in Damascus, Syria and Mexico City, Mexico, and he holds a Modern Middle East Studies Certificate from Yale University. While the majority of his recent work is on the United States, he maintains an interest in the Middle East and Latin America.