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National Science Foundation (USA) 2000

Shifting Gender Relations and the Transformation of the Social Spaces of Moroccan Women

Gender Women


Titre : Shifting Gender Relations and the Transformation of the Social Spaces of Moroccan Women

Organismes NSF : Division Of Behavioral and Cognitive Sci (BCS)

Durée : September 1, 2000 — February 28, 2002

Many stereotypes exist regarding the status and situation of women. Within the U.S. and other "western" nations, for example, women in Arab nations frequently are assumed to have their identities primarily constructed or influenced by Islam. Corollaries to this assumption are views that all Arabs are Muslim, that all Muslims are Arab, and that Muslim women are more oppressed and less emancipated than their "western" counterparts. This extreme oversimplification of the vastly complex and diverse histories and people in the Arab world perpetuates a situation of misunderstanding and ignorance between countries of the region and elsewhere. This doctoral dissertation research project will investigate the processes underlying Moroccan women’s spatial practices and identity strategies in urban areas in France and Morocco. The study will focus on understanding how Moroccan women from different socioeconomic situations use space differently and how power and gender relations in households and urban areas come together to influence their mobilities, daily spatial practices, and identity strategies in different places. The concept of spatial practices as used in this study refer to the ways that women occupy and move through spaces in different ways, such as. using chaperons to go to cafes, walking in groups, using taxis as opposed to buses, socializing in particular parks, and avoiding streets at night. Identity strategies pertain to ways that women may mobilize certain aspects of their identity, such as accentuating or downplaying particular codes of dress, notions of femininity, questions of ethnicity or class, and political alliances. The comparative aspect of this research will allow for a consideration of the ways in which different national-cultural and socioeconomic contexts (France vs. Morocco, poor vs. non-poor) affect the degree and modes of Moroccan women’s mobilities. Working in Montpellier, France, and Rabat, Morocco, qualitative research methods will be employed to gather primary data on a small number of Moroccan women’s daily lives. Intensive in-depth interviews will be combined with time-geography diaries by working with female and male members of a limited number of Moroccan households on several different occasions. Time-geographies will be collected from all individuals interviewed. Interviews will be analyzed alongside time-geographies in an effort to understand the processes that influence women’s mobilities, spatial practices, and identity strategies in urban areas in both France and Morocco. These data will be supplemented with daily participant observation and field notes, archival records, newspapers, and statistical sources. This study will contribute to theoretical debates currently taking place around questions of the role that place and mobility play in the construction of modern gender identities. It will shed light on the ways that different characteristics of the settings where women live influences their spatial behavior and identities. Understanding the factors that influence Moroccan women’s spatial practices and identity strategies in France and Morocco will provide insight into how these women understand their own modern lives in a way that allows them to cope with the pressures and contradictions of contemporary urban life. As a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement award, this award also will provide support to enable a promising student to establish a strong independent research career.

Partenaire (s) : Victoria Lawson lawson (Principal Investigator)

Sponsor  : University of Washington 4333 Brooklyn Ave NE Seattle, WA 98195-0001 (206)543-4043

Financement : $9,969.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

Page publiée le 1er avril 2017, mise à jour le 29 octobre 2017