- University of Chicago
- Assistant Professor of Comparative Human Development
- Faculty Fellow (2023-2024)
- Impossible Futures: Why Women Leave Muslim American Communities
Eman Abdelhadi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. She is a mixed-methods sociologist studying gender, migration, and religion, with a substantive interest in Muslim Americans. Her qualitative work examines the interplay between community and identity among migrants, and her quantitative work uses survey data analysis to ascertain how religion intersects with economic, political and cultural outcomes. Her research project, a book manuscript entitled Impossible Futures: Why Women Leave Muslim American Communities, charts trajectories of embeddedness in Muslim communities in the United States. She finds that Muslim institutions place anxieties about cultural assimilation onto women’s shoulders, creating unintended pressures that drive them out. The book asks what happens when individuals face future expectations that are impossible to actualize.
Abdelhadi’s scholarship has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals including Social Forces, Sociological Science, the British Journal of Sociology and Socius. Her work has been covered in press outlets such as the Washington Post, NPR and the Associated Press. Her 2020 article in Social Forces, “Re-examining Restructuring: Racialization, Religious Conservatism and Political Attitudes in Contemporary American Life,” co-authored with John O’Brien (NYUAD), received the Distinguished Article Awards from both the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Religion.
Abdelhadi’s research has been supported by the Association for the Sociology of Religion and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. She has also received grants from the Center for International Social Science, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and the Social Science Research Center at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University, where she received the University-wide Outstanding Dissertation Award.