Tabea Hässler: Social change toward equality || LGBTQIA+ research

In this episode, we spoke with Tabea Hässler who is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.

PAST (00:01:32): Tabea shares how as a high school student and activist, she launched a campaign against racism and homophobia after noticing that these topics were ignored at school. She explains how decorating the school overnight and bringing in speakers and press to speak against racism and homophobia were her first steps to becoming an activistic scholar.

PRESENT (00:11:33):  Tabea discusses an article by Saguy and colleagues (2009) on positive intergroup contact and its relations to supporting social change toward equality. She points out that positive contact may reduce prejudice between groups, but at the same time, it may weaken the willingness of disadvantaged groups to fight for social equity.

FUTURE (00:35:23): Tabea pointed out her future ambitions to diversify research samples which to this day are mainly from the U.S. and Western Europe. She also criticizes unhealthy working conditions in research, during and after the Ph.D., including unpaid overtime and job insecurity. Later, she shares how – very early in her career – she managed to set up a large-scale, international collaboration study involving participants from 69 countries.


Boland, C. (2020). Hybrid identity and practices to negotiate belonging: Madrid’s Muslim youth of migrant origin. Comparative Migration Studies, 8, 26.

«Das Ausmass an Gewalt gegen queere Menschen schockiert mich» [in German]

Hässler, T., Ullrich, J., Bernardino, M., Shnabel, N., Laar, C. V., Valdenegro, D., … & Ugarte, L. M. (2020). A large-scale test of the link between intergroup contact and support for social change. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(4), 380-386.   

Pratto, F., Saguy, T., Stewart, A. L., Morselli, D., Foels, R., Aiello, A., … & Sweetman, J. (2014). Attitudes toward Arab ascendance: Israeli and global perspectives. Psychological science, 25(1), 85-94.

*Saguy, T., Tausch, N., Dovidio, J. F., & Pratto, F. (2009). The irony of harmony: Intergroup contact can produce false expectations for equality. Psychological science, 20(1), 114-121.

Swiss LGBTQI+ panel: Academic Study, representing LGBTIQ+ people from all over Switzerland. Curated by Dr. Léïla Eisner and Dr. Tabea Hässler

Thöni, C., Eisner, L., & Hässler, T. (2022). Not straight enough, nor queer enough: Identity denial, stigmatization, and negative affect among bisexual and pansexual people. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity.


Roberto Gonzales, Nurit Shnabel, Kristina Olson