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Zoroastrian Collective Identity: A Case Study of the Cyclical World Zoroastrian Congress

Project conducted within the framework of POB Heritage mini-grants (3rd edition) with funding from ID.UJ

Principal investigator: Paulina Niechciał PhD
Project duration: May 2022 – April 2023

The research project was inspired by the identity crisis faced by contemporary Zoroastrians, related to the erosion of traditional identity orientations and references. These changes are occurring in the face of such processes as the drastic decline of the Zoroastrian population, the growing number of converts and the gravitation of the center of religious life from Iran and India toward North America, where a new generation is negotiating ‘Zoroastrianness’ in diasporic conditions. On the assumption that the construction of collective identity occurs in specific social situations, and that proposed identity concepts can resonate among group members, leading to the institutionalization of symbols and boundaries, I consider the regular World Zoroastrian Congresses that bring together activists and leaders from around the world as an important platform for analyzing current identity strategies. The project is conducted using qualitative methods and fieldwork.