Current Research

Identity Negotiations and Home-making practices of Recently Resettled Refugees {Refugees cope with the demands of multiple belongings and adopt different strategies for identity management. The current study makes use of the practice of “counter-storytelling” in psychology to understand how the displaced persons talk back to the dominant narratives. This research examines narratives of Syrian refugees resettled in Southeast Michigan, and Afghan special immigrant visa holders who resettled in Southern Vermont.}

Immigrant and Refugee Deservingness in the United States  {Which immigrants are considered as more deserving than others? How does one’s legal status contribute to people’s perception of them as deserving or not? In this project, we examine what people think which immigrants deserve social and legal rights in the United States. How are asylum seekers and refugees asked to perform vulnerability?}

Global Gender Inequities: Deservingness, Desire, Need {This line of research aims to examine women’s definitions of desire, pleasure, want, and need. The goal is to understand how women’s understandings of deservingness are shaped by lifelong experiences. I examine how women talk about everyday examples of their desires and wants being met and not met from childhood on. What are the consequences of these kinds of early experiences later in life in domains like creativity and sexuality?}

Join the Lab

If you are looking to gain research experience and be part of research at the intersection of gender, immigration and psychology email me at: ozgesavas@bennington.edu

Students at all levels and various levels of experience with psychology are welcome to apply to the Belonging Lab. Indicate why you are interested in working with me and briefly describe who you are and what relevant previous experiences you have, if any. Your work in Belonging Lab can be applied to a Group or Individual tutorial that gives you 2-4 credits. Being a research assistant in the lab potentially involves engaging in several different tasks depending on your skill level, availability, interest, and the lab’s needs:

    1. Lab meetings {All RAs are required to attend weekly lab meetings. Lab meetings are when we check in with each other, give updates about ongoing projects, as well as discussing the next steps.}
    2. Participant recruitment in person and/or by phone 
    3. Data collection
    4. Data entry. {Data entry involves transferring information provided by the participants in one medium (e.g. paper) to another medium (e.g. SPSS software) in order to prepare it for analysis. No prior knowledge of software packages is needed.}
    5. Transcribing interviews. {Transcribing involves listening to tape-recorded interviews and typing out what is said. In the process of transcribing you get to hear people’s stories, and many RAs report that they learn a lot during this process.}
    6. Data analysis {I use a number of different methods and therefore different softwares as analytical tools, including quantitative (SPSS) and qualitative (Dedoose, NVivo). No prior knowledge of these programs is needed.}
    7. Literature reviews. {Literature review is an essential part of the research. It includes looking for relevant articles published in peer-reviewed journals on a given topic.}