H. Deborah Kwak
Area of Interest
Culture, Theory, Religion, Conflict, Small Groups
Hyunjin Deborah Kwak is a PhD student in Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She earned her MA in International Peace and Conflict Studies from Notre Dame in 2009 and a BA in political science and French from Calvin College in 2006. Her dissertation, "Building Bridges through Talk: Contention and Solidarity among Civil Society Groups in Mindanao,” examines how individuals and groups in post-conflict settings perform their identity and their organizational loyalties in public deliberative spaces, as members of an identity group or a complex set of identities. The study analyzes the communication styles and skills that civil society groups employ to mediate or exacerbate tensions in deliberative spaces. Further, it theorizes the conditions that allow groups to talk across identity divisions and find joint solutions that promote just and peaceful settlement, in the face of continuing differences in perspectives, experiences, resources, and power.