Exploring Questions of Representation and Stereotypes
Renana Atia is a doctoral student in the Smart Family Institute of Communications at the Hebrew University. She was educated in both ultra-Orthodox and National Religious schools, and later completed her national service working with people from diverse backgrounds.
Moving between different worlds, Renana has always been interested in questions of representation – specifically, how the media (mis)represents certain groups (e.g., women, religious communities). She chose to study political science and communications at the Hebrew University, hoping to gain practical skills for creating social change. Yet early in her studies, she was drawn to research, as she discovered the importance and joy of methodologically studying social issues. By the end of her first year, she had decided to pursue a graduate degree.
Renana eventually earned a master’s degree in political communication with a minor in gender studies at the Lafer Center for Women and Gender Studies. At the same time, she began working as a teaching assistant for both undergraduate and graduate courses. Beyond gaining and honing her own teaching skills, Renana was thankful for the opportunity to help shape and guide the younger students in their own academic journeys.
"I study the cognitive motivation necessary for changing perceptions of stereotypes, and the possibility that individuals who do not adhere to stereotypes may contribute to minimizing inter-group tensions."
Her research will employ quantitative methods and be rooted in data from several countries, including Israel, the United States, and Germany. Renana greatly enjoys her studies and is particularly thankful for the Faculty of Social Sciences' support, which ranges from lectures on publishing, assistance editing English texts, and information about post-doctoral opportunities.
Outside of her studies, Renana practices archery and is involved in an organization that aims to increase women’s participation in the sport, including women who are either at-risk or come from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Looking forward, she hopes for a career that combines research and teaching.
"The Hebrew University, and in particular the Faculty of Social Science, have provided me with amazing support, while also granting me the freedom to conduct my doctoral research. The Hebrew University has never ceased to challenge me."