Rania Salem

Rania Salem
Associate Professor
(416) 208-4757


Professor Salem received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University in 2011. After completing a post-doctoral fellowship at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, she joined the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2012. Her teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of the fields of gender, family, economic sociology, development and the Middle East.

Her current research project, Economies of Courtship: Matrimonial Transactions and the Construction of Gender and Class Inequalities in Egypt, is a mixed-methods study of the causes and consequences of high marriage costs in contemporary Egypt. As part of this project, she has investigated the cultural meanings associated with marriage expenditures, how labor market experiences affect marriage timing, whether the economic resources women bring to marriage give them greater bargaining power vis a vis husbands, and how high marriage costs motivate some young people to resort to secret marriages.

Professor Salem is currently involved in several other collaborative projects. One examines how intimate partner violence affects Egyptian women's performance of market, subsistence, domestic, and care work. Another is a panel study investigating kin influences on young Qatari women's transitions into the labor force.


Ph.D., Princeton University

Research Interests: 

  • Women and gender in the contemporary Middle East
  • Family and marriage in the contemporary Middle East
  • Economic Sociology of households, labor markets, and economic development


  • Co-Principal Investigator, "Is Women's Work a Pathway to Their Agency in Rural Egypt?", Economic Research Forum (2013-2014)
  • Grantee, "Gendering the Costs and Benefits of the Arab Uprisings in Six Arab Countries Using the Gallup Surveys", Silatech and Economic Research Forum (2013-2014)
  • Co-Principal Investigator, "Kin Influences on Qatari Women's Transitions into the Labor Force: A Panel Study", Qatar National Research Fund (2012-2015)
  • Salem, Rania. (forthcoming). "Trends and Differentials in Jordanian Marriage Behavior: Marriage Timing, Spousal Characteristics, Household Structure, and Matrimonial Expenditures" in Ragui Assaad (ed.) The Jordanian Labor Market in the New Millennium. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Salem, Rania. (forthcoming). "Imagined Crises: Assessing Evidence of Delayed Marriage and Never-Marriage in Contemporary Egypt" in Kristin Celello and Hanan Kholoussy (eds.) Domestic Tensions, National Anxieties: Global Perspectives on Marriage Crisis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Salem, Rania. (2011) "Women's Economic Resources and Bargaining in Marriage: Does Egyptian Women's Well-Being Depend on Earnings or Marriage Payments?" Gender and Work in the Middle East and North Africa Working Papers 18.
  • Langsten, Ray and Rania Salem. (2008) "Two Approaches to Measuring Women's Work in Developing Countries: A Comparison of Survey Data from Egypt." Population and Development Review 34(2): 283-305.

Teaching Interests: 

  • Sociology of Families
  • Family and Gender in the Middle East
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods