Doctoral positions – Campaign 2016: Profile n° 3

“Female Mobility and Care Professions in the Mediterranean: Trajectories and Territories”.

Work-Package: “Mobilities”

The deadline for the submission of applications is 4 May 2016 (inclusive).
Recruitment procedure and schedule

Position description

Research Proposal:

Everywhere, the globalization of trade, the expansion of the tertiary sector and women’s growing access to labor markets have—far from triggering a drop in domestic labor and “care work”—led to a “rise in mobility” among women and, to a lesser extent, men to meet the global demand for reproductive labor. This increased mobility happens at different scales: from urban-rural migration to inter-continental migration. It is part of an more general feminization of labor migration that concerns many economic sectors (factory work, sex work, farm labor, tourism, entertainment, etc.).

While migrant women who are domestic workers have been the subject of many studies in sociology and anthropology, spatial readings of their migratory dynamics are still rare. This is what the candidate should attempt to do, taking a comprehensive approach to women’s mobility in its multiple scalar and territorial configurations.

This study will take place in the Mediterranean context: a very diverse zone in terms of demographics and wealth, undergoing multiple transformations (economic crises, political crises and civil wars, frontierization and flow intensification phenomena), the countries around the Mediterranean Sea share specific family models and strongly service-based economies with large demand for domestic labor and care work.

An investigation of the spatial dynamics of women migrants notably raises the following questions:

  • What are these women’s spatial practices in their host countries and cities? How do they reconfigure spaces, notably public and domestic spaces? Here, contributions from urban geography and feminist geography could be mobilized.
  • What scales are relevant to analyze these migratory processes? The national scale has been strongly challenged with the development of transnational studies. Has this scale really lost its relevance to understand migratory dynamics? What of local and micro-local scales? What of transnational scales (networked territories, or even virtual spaces frequented and run by migrants)?
  • Women’s trajectories and what they tell us about the mobility/immobility dialectic, the effects of borders and regulation, the role of “spatial capital” and social networks in migratory paths.

From the methodological standpoint, we wish to favor a comparative reading: for example, the research could, based on the skills of the researcher, take place in a Southern European country and a Middle Eastern country. The comparison could also be done between several groups (for example, Filipino and Sri Lankan women).

The research will be qualitative (ethnography, interviews) but contributions from quantitative approaches (network analysis, quantitative processing of interviews, etc.) will be welcome. The use of original supports for the research (films, etc.) or the development of innovative methodological approaches (web analysis, multi-site research) could be significant “pluses.”

Planned collaborations

This research will be done in interaction with:

  • the activities of LabEx’s “Mobilities” Work-Package;
  • the collaboration program with Rachel SILVEY at the University of Toronto and Danièle BÉLANGER at the University of Laval; this program, called “Global Care Labor Markets: Mobilities and Immobilities”, has already received twofold support from LabEx: financing for a workshop and the invitation of Rachel SILVEY in February 2015; and support organizing an event followed by a publication next autumn in Toronto.
  • the “Gender” nursery and crosscutting “Mobilities” theme in the UMR Géographie-cités;

Camille SCHMOLL’s IUF program, “Southern Europe at the Crossroad of Women Trajectories: Mobilities, Spatialities, Autonomies in Tension.” It could provide the candidate with support to finance all or some of his/her field visits.

Required skills and abilities

The candidate must have a post-graduate Master’s degree (Master 2) and field experience with qualitative methods.

He/she must have good command of the English language and at least one other language. Certain language skills (knowledge of Tamil, Tagalog, Arabic or a Southern European language) will be especially appreciated.

His/her expertise—which the candidate may consolidate during his/her thesis work—must include mobility studies and gender studies.

Additional information

Contract start date: 01/09/2016 or 01/10/2016 (as desired)

Length of contract: 3 years

Host laboratory: Géographie-cités (UMR 8504) (13 rue du Four- 75006 Paris)

Assigned University:

  • Paris Diderot University;
  • Paris School of Geography – Environment, Society, Development (Doctoral School ED 434);
  • Doctoral School of Economics, Environment, Society, Civilization, Critical Thinking, Political and Social Practices – (Doctoral School ED 382).

Possible Thesis Supervisors: Nadine CATTAN, Camille SCHMOLL

Net monthly remuneration: approximately € 1 350 (additional teaching assignments possible, depending on the host establishment).

Contact :

Recruitment procedure and schedule

The application must be submitted electronically by application form ( It must demonstrate that the candidate fulfils the requirements indicated in the position profile (specified tasks and skills).

The application will include:

  • a description of the doctoral project (2 to 5 pages maximum) indicating the theoretical basis of the research, the tests to be carried out on empirical materials, the methodology to be used, a feasibility report and project schedule;
  • curriculum vitae;
  • transcript of higher education record for first year of masters studies (Master 1) and the first semester of research masters (Master 2);
  • a letter of recommendation from the supervisor of the research master’s thesis;
  • a letter confirming the forthcoming defence of the candidate’s master’s thesis (prior to 31 August 2016).

It is recommended (but not mandatory) for the candidate to establish contact with the potential thesis supervisor in advance.

The deadline for the submission of applications is 4 May 2016 (inclusive).

For your information: When the deadline for applications has passed, the LabEx DynamiTe will contact the potential director(s) of the potential host unit(s) and will add one letter of invitation to the application.

The candidate(s) appointed following the evaluation of the applications and interviews (which will take place during the week of 13 June 2016) will be informed of the results of the application process from 20 June 2016.

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