PhD Dounia Bourabain

Research project: PhD Dounia Bourabain

Everyday discrimination: how to describe, explain and reduce everyday discrimination?

2017-2023 | VUB funding


This PhD research is about understanding everyday racism. The first aim is to clarify and demarcate the concept of everyday racism by conducting a systematic review. The second aim is to study everyday forms of racisms in different contexts and through different methodologies, with a special focus on (higher) education. Even though we expect that each individual can reach the academic world through meritocratic principles, research in Anglo-Saxon countries has shown that women have been confronted with both micro- and macro-barriers. Through in-depth interviews we want to give voice to the women and explore the more subtle micro-aggressions that are present in the day-to-day work environment. We want to look at how they position themselves within the work place and whether they have a sense of belonging. Therefore, 50 in-depth interviews have been conducted. Based on these interviews a typology of forms of everyday racism in the academic workplace have been constructed. In addition, more attention has been paid on the specific socialization process of women of colour in the academic workplace and their strategies to navigate in the academic space. Finally, the aim of this PhD is not only to present the existence of everyday racism but to actively engage in looking for “solutions”.