A perspective on women’s spatial experiences in higher education: between modernity and tradition

Source of Publication

British Journal of Sociology of Education


© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper is concerned with the spatial experiences of Emirati higher education women students. It presents some of the unique ways they engaged with and appropriated their campus space. To understand and explore women’s spatial experiences as manifested through their spatial practices, appropriation and emerging spaces, I conducted an ethnographic qualitative inquiry with multiple levels of data gathering and analysis. I utilized social theories of space specifically the social construction of space and Lefebvre’s triad as a theoretical framework for this study. The emerging spatial practices of ‘togetherness’ and ‘sitting on the floor’ were highly informed by aspects of women students’ identity and socio-cultural formation, with an evident link to their traditional past that intersects with their specific nation’s modern demands and challenges. Although Emirati women learners’ spatiality might resonate with that of other women learners, their spatial practices are context and culture specific.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Gergana Alzeer, Zayed University