May Al Dabbagh

Assistant Professor of SRPP


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    I combine social psychology, public policy, and feminist lenses to understand the gendered subjectivities in labor markets in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) region. In my research, I attempt to theorize the region from “the ground up” and use my findings to extend and challenge ideas about gender and work in the academy. I pay attention both to “local” forms of essentialism (e.g., patriarchy in the institutions of the family or the state) but also to “global” western-centric essentialisms which obscure important dimensions of social life in non-western sites and populations.  This post-colonial feminist approach, which focuses on the interlinkages between the local and the global, does not necessarily see them as diametrically opposed, but rather as mutually constituted and critical to the social mechanisms which shape the subjectivities of social actors in the Gulf and other world regions.

     To date, I have worked on a number of research projects that focus on gender, negotiation, and work in the GCC. My projects span a number of different methods (experiments, surveys, and interviews) and include collaborations with both scholars and policy makers based internationally (e.g., Harvard University, Wharton School of Business, University of Maryland, University of Lundt) and locally (e.g., Zayed University, UAE Gender Balance Council, and Ministry of Federal National Council Affairs).  My interdisciplinary collaborations reflect my interests in both engaging with scholarly audiences and debates as well as contributing to social change processes in the local communities to which I belong.


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