Ph.Ds. on the market

Salam Aboulhassan, Ph.D. (expected) 2022  Salam Aboulhassan photo

Dissertation

Titled Answering for their Visibility: Gendered and Racialized Muslim Experience at Work, my dissertation explores how orientalist discourse structures workplace culture and shapes Muslim workplace experiences. Theories of racial formation support the ways in which Muslims become 'raced', arguing that racial categories are continuously evolving based on historical, political and social circumstances. Orientalism offers the historical creation of racialized and gendered signifiers that locate Muslims in a racial and gendered hierarchy which determine how processes of racialization affect Muslims at work.

Muslim workers who are 'visibly' identifiable are more likely to experience patterns of discrimination, bigotry, and workplace hostility. Study findings are organized around four ideas. First, subgroup experiences are uncovered, illustrating how racialized and gendered caricatures that emerge from orientalist discourse follow Muslims into their respective careers, shaping workplace relationships, affecting work goals and productivity, and forcing workers to reckon and work against anti-Muslim hostility and discrimination. Second, the study explores the work ethic of Muslim workers (drawing on concepts such as effort, competitiveness, and ethical/moral standards) partly developed as a response to anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hostility, bigotry, and discrimination. Third, the study details the unique barriers Muslim men and women face when seeking promotional opportunities. These findings illustrate barriers to networking, how performance reviews unfold, and glass ceilings/career stalls experienced by men and women. Finally, findings show how gender dynamics become more salient over issues of race when considering workplaces embedded or serving immigrant or ethnic enclaves. More specifically, issues of sexual harassment, sexism, and gender discrimination are considered.  

Research interests

Gender/violence, race/racialization processes, Arab and Muslim Americans, workplace, religion, family

Publications

  • Aboulhassan, Salam, and Krista M. Brumley. 2018. "Carrying the Burden of a Culture: Bargaining with Patriarchy and the Gendered Reputation of Arab American Women." Journal of Family Issues 40(5):637-661
  • Aboulhassan, Salam. Forthcoming. "Undesirably Loud: Overcoming sexual stigmatization and violence within Arab Detroit." In Unsettled Refugee: Rights, Respect, Responsibility (eds. Sally Howell, Andrew Shryock, and Yasmeen Oanoosh). Detroit, MI:  Wayne State University Press

Whitney Hunt, Ph.D. (expected) 2022Whitney Hunt Photo

Dissertation

Overall, my research agenda places a critical lens on the social construction of race and uses both qualitative and quantitative methods to address the evolving social meanings surrounding racial classifications and how these meanings serve to reproduce white privilege. Specifically, I am interested in exploring the changing nature of racial formation and how individuals' lived experience of racial identity are situated within macro-level social and cultural patterns. For instance, my dissertation, "Backdoor to Essentialism? Genetic Ancestry Testing and the Social Deconstruction of Whiteness" is a mixed methods study of interviews and a survey experiment that explores genetic testing and racial/ethnic identity. In an era where white supremacy is becoming more prominent, being "white" seems to be losing meaning as a salient racial identity. I argue genetic ancestry tests are racial projects encouraging people, more specifically white individuals, to contest and reflect on their racial and ethnic formations of identity, and in deconstructing their whiteness, there is sometimes a small desire to be perceived as raced. This project gives us insight into how scientific institutions reproduce social inequality and how individuals navigate their identities under the imprimatur of genetic science.

Research interests

Racial/ethnic inequality, the sociology of science, media studies, mixed methods

Publications

  • Hunt, W. 2019. Negotiating new racism: 'It's not racist or sexist. It's just the way it is.' Media, Culture and Society 41(1): 86-103. doi.org/10.1177%2F0163443718798907

Heather E. Mooney Ph.D. (expected) 2022   photo of Heather Mooney

Dissertation: Conflicting Consequences and The Carceral State:  Troubled Teens in a Therapeutic Boarding School

Heather E. Mooney, M.A., is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI specializing in inequality studies and qualitative methods. She is about to defend her dissertation about adults who were former "troubled teens" discussing their experiences and perceived impact of attending a therapeutic boarding school anywhere from four to twenty years ago. She has published articles in Critical Criminology and The Conversation about her research findings. Heather has served on the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Council (OBHC) and National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) Transport Task Force (TTF) since close to its inception in early 2020. The TTF focused on the ethics and often problematic practice of involuntary (and voluntary) youth transporting services. Since 2010 Mooney has taught a variety of undergraduate courses in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University.

Learn more about Heather E. Mooney

Research interests

Socialtratification, inequality, qualitative methods, critical criminology, social justice, deviance, rehabilitation

Publications

Awards

Award for Excellence in Teaching, Wayne State University, Department of Sociology, 2017