Dissertation for Dike: Gendered Labor In- and Outside the Household for Middle-Class Urban Newlywed Moroccans

Grants and Contracts Details


Social scientists studying the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are concerned about youth: specifically, the increased supply of unemployed youth aged 15 to 29, termed the “generation in waiting,” whose opportunities are constrained by the lengthy economic slowdown and public-sector restructuring beginning in the late 1980s (Dhillon & Yousef 2009; Kouaouci 2004). Extant literature assumes that the “generation in waiting” will follow the same gender roles as their parents when they finally secure full-time employment and marry. However, there is no research to date that empirically explores how this generation’s experience of “waithood” (Silver 2017; Singerman 2013, 2007) might reconfigure gender ideologies and everyday household practices, as men and women embark on creating households and families together. In Morocco, men and women are actively renegotiating their places in the family, household, and society (Conway-Long 2006; Newcomb 2009). At the state level, Morocco is one of the only countries to revise its Islamic family status code law (or mudawana) in the MENA region, which occurred in 2004, following the Sunni Malikki school of jurisprudence to be more equitable between the sexes in terms of marriage, divorce, and inheritance (Booley 2016; Sadiqi 2008). At the demographic level, Moroccan women are having fewer children, delaying marriage, and increasingly working outside the home, especially in urban areas (Ayad & Roudi 2006; Assad & Zouari 2003). At the everyday level, the Moroccan middle classes are exposed to ideologies of economic prosperity and consumption, conservative Islamist philosophies, and secular feminist discourses—but lack access to stable employment (Alpert 2007). How do Moroccans experience competing ideologies of gender, middle-class identities and labor practices? How do these changes shape everyday life within their homes and how might this help us better understand similar circumstances in other developing nations? The dissertation research will investigate how women entering the paid work force influences the distribution of reproductive labor among newlywed middle-class Moroccans.
Effective start/end date4/27/184/30/20


  • Lambda Alpha: $2,000.00


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