Seeking Guidance
Thesis: Expatriate Women in Dubai-Perceptions of Space and Belonging
Hi all - my research will explore how "spaces," both the tangible and intangible kind, are conceived as part of the built environment and urban milieu and effectually influence residents' sense of belonging in Dubai.

I would like to learn how expatriate women of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds view, relate to, and use the same or similar "spaces" in Dubai. The spaces of interest include:
a. Public space and the general layout of infrastructure and land development of the city-state: streets, squares, and shopping malls
b. The geographic and social positions of where residents live, work, and play: space of the home, space of occupation, and space of recreation
c. Mobile space: inside transportation modes such as private automobiles, metro, bus, etc.

Thanks for reading this post. Please let me know if you have ideas on what to hone in on when conducting my interviews or if you think there is a different kind of "space" that I'm missing. I'd welcome any comments!
Janet Lau
Thesis: Expatriate Women in Dubai-Perceptions of Space and Belonging
Janet, I see you use the modern term "socio-economic backgrounds" which defines basic human functionality but which does not include or mention either culture, aesthetics or faith.

In fact, the term "socio-economic" not only does not include, it excludes culture, aesthetics and faith because they are viewed as being the non-essential `frilly bits` (or ornaments) added on to human existence.

I am reminded of the saying by Adolf Loos "ornament is crime" and if ornament is crime then culture, aesthetics and faith become crime.
Frank John Snelling
Thesis: Expatriate Women in Dubai-Perceptions of Space and Belonging
Janet, almost forgot, anyone who is expatriate usually feels like `a fish out of water` because the familiar norms of one`s own culture are missing, even if it is a small thing like how tea is made and drunk.

For example, as an English person brought up on relatively strong Indian Tea which is usually drunk with milk and sugar in relatively large cups and even Pint mugs.

Whereas, for example the rather bitter black tea in Turkey which is often "stewed" (brewed repeatedly) before being drunk, is usually drunk in a very small glass with sugar but without milk and so did not have the same taste or the same comforting feeling as "a good cup of (English) char".
Frank John Snelling


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