Orthodox Judaism and gender

Longman was one of the first in Europe to study (1) Orthodox Jewish women (various denominations in Antwerp, London), including the Charedi (strictly Orthodox) community of Antwerp.  

Tensions between diversity and equality

Her second area of research concerns societally relevant debates and political challenges regarding the question of (2) accommodating religious and cultural diversity when in tension with norms of liberal gender equality. For the European context, my field research involved studies of burgeoning Muslim women’s emancipation (e.g., pro-hijab activism, migrant women’s organizing), next to more theoretical and edited works on feminism and multiculturalism. She was among the first to publish on the hijab debate in Belgium, and has participated in various networks, projects and publications on gender equality and cultural and religious diversity from a comparative perspective in the European context.

Harmful cultural practices

This topic has been followed up by a more global perspective on tensions between gender and culture with a research line on (3) ‘harmful cultural practices’, a concept that is increasingly used in policy and public debate, yet rarely interrogated in scholarly discussion, similarly leading to international collaborations, invited lectures, publications, and acquired project funding.

Kinship, parenting & reproduction

In the field of (4) kinship, parenting, mothering and reproduction Longman has mostly collaborated on and supervised various projects (undocumented mothers, adoptive parents, Muslim marriage migration and motherhood, mothering practices etc), contributing to the theorization on the relationship between mothering/parenting and intersectional inequalities.

Spirituality, self-care and wellbeing

Her most recent research project ‘Postsecular Femininities’ has involved a return to the field with intermittent intensive ethnographic research in three countries and looks at the way femininity is creatively being redefined among women active in the growing area of (5) spirituality, self-care and wellbeing practices including women’s coaching, circles and festivals across Europe. 

ID/Bart Dewaele 2019