BA Hons Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations, Macedonian University of Thessaloniki (Greece), 2004.
MA European Politics, University College Dublin (Ireland), 2006
Dphil candidate in Sociology, School of Law, Middlesex University, 2011 – ongoing
Religious and ethnic border crossing in heterogamous marriages: Mixed Muslim-Christian relationships in Greece
Supervisor: Prof. Louise Ryan
Abstract Under the current socioeconomic conditions aggravated by the deepening economic crisis, the rise of the ultra-right political party, the discriminatory and xenophobic voices and the violent acts against Muslim immigrants, religiously mixed Christian–Muslim couples in Greece can be controversial and can arouse family and societal reactions.
This study aims to investigate the social practices of mixed Muslim and Christian couples in Greece and to examine the interplay between mixed relationships, the extended family and Greek society. The research draws on single and joint semi-structured interviews with forty Christians and Muslims with purposive sampling adopted to obtain data from information-rich participants with a diversity of socio-economic characteristics. An analysis of these interviews yields insight into the complicated dynamics between religions within intimate relationships under the influence of dominant culture and gender roles and the way these factors influence the social practices of mixed couples, their decision to convert to Islam or to Christianity and the negotiations about the religion and the naming of the children. By giving voice to Muslim immigrants, indigenous Greek Muslims, women, converts and their spouses, this study adds knowledge to multiple strategies of social adaptation of religiously mixed couples.
My principal research interests lie in the field of global religions and plural societies and the intersection between intercultural relationships, religions, migration and multiculturalism. I'm currently investigating how religious belief systems, cultural values and societal attitudes are negotiated within mixed Christian - Muslim intimate relationships in Greek society. My research goal is to add knowledge to the understanding of mixed couples' strategies of social adaptation in a plural society, religious conversion in relation to affectionate bonds and the complicated dynamics between religious belief systems, culture and gender roles.
My doctoral research is co-funded by the European Union (European Social Fund - ESF) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF), 2007 – 2013.