CCAS Assistant Professor Fida Adely, the Clovis and Hala Salaam Maksoud Chair in Arab Studies, will journey to Jordan next semester, where she will conduct research as the recipient of two prestigious fellowships.
Her primary project, titled “Courting, Matchmaking, and Conceptualizations of Marriage Amidst a Marriage Crisis,” is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Center for Oriental Research. Dr. Adely’s interest in this topic stems in part from the widespread concern in the local media, as well as among social scientists, about what has been labeled a “marriage crisis” in Jordan—the delay of marriage for years because of high youth unemployment and rising housing costs. Her project will explore how ideas and practices surrounding marriage may be shifting in the context of delayed marriage and its assumed effects. The project will also examine the role of public and private institutions in addressing this crisis.
“I am interested in the role of NGOs that work to support young people financially in getting married and in educating young couples about the fundamentals for a successful marriage (as defined by these organizations),” she says.
In addition, Dr. Adely will begin research on Jordanian women and labor. She will interview a diverse group of women employed formally and informally about their working lives and their conceptualization of labor in and outside the home. Supported by the Columbia Research Center in Amman, this research will form the foundation for a larger ethnographic study.
Both projects further Dr. Adely’s interest in adolescent girls, education, and development in Jordan, about which she has published numerous articles. “As the young women who were the focus of my earlier research are growing into adulthood,” she says, “they grapple with decisions about marriage, family, and labor. Watching their transitions has made the gaps in the existing literature on these topics of marriage and labor more apparent to me.” Dr. Adely intends to close this gap and produce new qualitative and ethnographic research that helps us understand current societal transitions and gender-related transformations in Jordan.