PhD Position in Sociology/Gender Studies on Islamic Veiling, University of Lausanne — LIMITE : 15/06/2020


UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 15,500 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.


The Institute of social sciences (ISS) invites applications for a position as:

Doctoral student SNSF in sociology/gender studies

for a Swiss National Science Foundation entitled “Shaping the legal consciousness of intersectional subjects: accommodating, negotiating and contesting regulations on Islamic veiling in France, Switzerland and the U.K.” led by Prof. Eléonore Lépinard – Center for Gender Studies.

The overall objective of the proposed research is to investigate the following question: how do veiled Muslim women accept, accommodate, negotiate, or challenge the regulations that target their veiling practices? In the vein of socio-legal studies which stipulate that legal rules constitute social subjects and enforce gendered norms, this project investigates how legal regulations shape veiled Muslim women’s legal consciousness. The project in particular looks at the factors that may encourage Muslim women to mobilize the law to defend what they see as their rights. Finally, drawing on the insights of intersectionality theory, this proposed research recognizes that identity categories such as gender, race, religion, and class are socially and mutually constituted. This premise has shaped the research design in order to compare between veiled Muslim women positioned at the different intersections of race and class relations. This research adopts an extensive empirical research design to explore how regulations targeting veiled Muslim women shape, transform and alter these subjects’ relationship to law, and how their intersectional positioning influence their capacity to claim their rights. It applies the above-mentioned theoretical approaches within a comparative methodology: the project studies two cities in three different countries: Paris and Marseille in France, Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland, and London and Bristol in England. The project uses a qualitative methodology, including discourse analysis of legal texts, semi-directive interviews and focus groups.

Job information

Starting date:                01.09.2020
Duration of contract:     1 year, renewable contract for 3 years with a full duration of 4 years.
Employment rate:         100%
Workplace:                   University of Lausanne, Géopolis

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