Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the final dissertation defense of

Katharina Azim

for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

March 28, 2016 at 12:00 am in 103 Ball Hall


Major Advisors: Christian Mueller, PhD, and Alison Happel-Parkins, PhD

El Ghorba Fil Gharb: Conceptualizing Ethnic Identity with Saudi Women Graduate Students in the U.S.

This narrative inquiry examined how ethnic identity is conceptualized in the stories of Saudi women students living and studying in the United States. This was done using theorists from the field of ethnic identity and enculturation research, as well as postcolonial feminist critique to address various layers of marginality and power relations. Participants included seven women enrolled as international students in a graduate program at a Northeastern U.S. university. Unstructured life-story interviews of 2 to 2.5 hours were conducted to elicit narratives of how the women positioned themselves ethnically and how they were positioned by their surrounding while living in the suburbs of Gamuston (pseudonym). The rhizoanalytic approach of "plugging in" (Jackson & Mazzei, 2012) theorists into the women's narratives was used to interrogate the intricate workings of ethnic identity positionalities in the socio-cultural, gender, and geopolitical contexts that inform them.