Sociology Speaker Series: “Conflict, Violence, and Ethnicity: Pakhtunwali in the Conflict of Swat, Pakistan” Syed Wasif Azim

Conflict and violence, programmed and on a high level can shatter lives and crush peculiar cultures of different groups. It also generates waves of ethnic profiling and hatred along with stereotypes of people considered as ‘violent’ and ‘security threats’.

This talk investigates the impacts of conflict and violence for ethnicity and ethnic identity in Swat, Pakhtun region of Pakistan. Theoretically, it attempts to break the ‘primodialism’ within ‘constructivism’ by proposing that the impacts of conflict and violence (any type) for ethnicity and ethnic identity are complex, contextual and multi-di­mensional. Pakhtun ‘culture’ (Pakhtunwali) and ascribed aspects of Pakhtun ethnic identity will be discussed, based on over 80 open ended interviews, discussions and observations in the conflict-ridden region of Swat Pakistan.

 

SYED WASIF AZIM is a Visiting Research scholar in the South Asia Center at the UW through a fellowship funded by Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan. He is a graduate student in the Department of Polit­ical Science, University of Pesha­war, Pakistan. His PHD is also funded by the indigenous scholar­ship of HEC Pakistan. His broader research area is the Pakhtun soci­ety of Pakistan. His focus includes ethnicity, conflict and sense of belonging in the region.

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