PhD Oral Exam - Rana Taher, Individualized Program
When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
The purpose of the study is to understand the dynamic and relationship between market and society in South Lebanon by focusing on how rural weekly markets in South Lebanon are embedded within social, political and economic relations. The study presents an ethnographic journey of the weekly markets in South Lebanon. It looks at two case examples of weekly markets; Monday Market in Nabatieh (Souk Tanein in Nabatieh) and Thursday market in Bint Jbeil (Souk Khameis in Bint Jbeil) as well as draws on examples of other weekly markets in South Lebanon. The findings demonstrate that rural weekly markets in South Lebanon are not autonomous, but subordinate to social, political and economic relations that have played a significant role in its existence and persistence over time. History, geography, social relations, political leadership, policy, and power play a critical role in their formation, growth, and sustainability. Their sustained existence over time is further driven by social and cultural factors such as norms, values, and practices found within the marketplace; this perception is found among sociologists and political economists, and is shared by local municipal leaders, vendors, and people who see these markets as economically inconsequential, but socially and culturally significant. Continuous existence of these weekly markets can not be explained using classical economic theory nor can they be analyzed using a single socio-political theory on markets. Instead, the historical, geographical, social, political and cultural factors interact in a critical manner in their evolution and sustained existence over time.