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Department of Social Anthropology



Before arriving in Cambridge, I first tried my chance at Architecture, but I have not been very fortunate at it. So I did a political science BA at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where I am originally from, and an exchange year in Istanbul. I then completed a social anthropology MA at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris. I also lived in Cairo, trying my best to learn Arabic.



Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Riyadh and the region, my PhD looks at how some sections of Saudi society respond to the social dimensions of current state reforms. Such as the promotion of official entertainment, international tourism, women in the workforce, changes in school curriculums, free mixing between men and women or the limitation in the welfare programs and religious police. This recent, top-down and fast-paced social transformation goes with increased regulation on the religious sphere and the promotion of nationalist narratives. I am thus interested in how people adapt to a changing environment, implying uncertainties and novelties happening for the first time in their lifetime. I also try to complexify this idea of unprecedented changes, by tracing the reforms in Saudi’s geography, history and in the lives of my interlocutors.

Research TItle: Social changes in Saudi Arabia
Supervisor: Professor James Laidlaw

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