Laura Menin, "Quest for Love in Central Morocco: Young Women and the Dynamics of Intimate Lives" (Syracuse UP, 2024)

23 Mar 2024 • 33 min • EN
33 min
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Following the 2011 wave of revolutions and protests in North Africa and the Middle East, new discussions of individual freedoms emerged in the Moroccan public sphere and human rights discourse. A segment of the public rallied around the removal of an article in the penal code that punished sexual relationships outside of marriage. As debates about personal and sexual freedom gain momentum, love and intimacy remain complex issues.  Moving between public, clandestine, and online interactions, Quest for Love in Central Morocco: Young Women and the Dynamics of Intimate Lives (Syracuse University Press, 2024) explores the creative ways young women navigate desire and morality. Laura Menin's ethnography focuses on young women living in the low-income and lower-middle-class neighbourhoods of a midsized town in Central Morocco, far from the overt influence of city life. At the heart of the book, Menin draws upon ideas of "love" as an ethnographic object and source of theoretical examination. She demonstrates that love, as a complex cultural and historical phenomenon shaped through intersecting socioeconomic and political developments, is crucial in thinking through generational changes and debates in Morocco and the Middle East more broadly. What is at stake in the quest for love, she argues, is not only the making of gendered selves and intimate relationships, but also the imagination of social and political life. Rituparna Patgiri has a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. Her research interests lie in the areas of food, media, gender and public. She is also one of the co-founders of Doing Sociology. Patgiri can be reached at @Rituparna37 on Twitter. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

From "New Books in Sex, Sexuality, and Sex Work"

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