Skip to main content

Sociology: People


Thalia Thereza Assan

Thalia Thereza Assan
Thalia Thereza Assan
Edinburgh UK
Research Interests
Girlhood, Childhood and Youth Studies, Friendship, Activism, Political Participation, Ethnography, Creative Participatory Methods, Education

PhD Title

Activist Friendships: Exploring Intersections of the Political and the Personal in Girls’ Political Involvement


In my PhD research, I will examine the friendship ties created and practised by activist adolescent girls and analyse how the meanings ascribed to these social bonds help shape girls’ political perceptions and actions. By employing ethnography and creative participatory methods, I will explore how adolescent girls’ friendships, which are traditionally thought of as personal, are conceived and played out in political and activist settings; how these activist friendships contend, and possibly challenge, with popular notions which frame girls solely as future-citizens; and what kind of gendered, activist, ethical and feminist subject the girls shape through their friendships.


Professor Mary Holmes

Dr. Niamh Moore


  • M.A., Sociology and Anthropology; Track: Socio-Cultural Anthropology, Tel Aviv University (Summa Cum Laude), 2018
    Thesis: 'Friendship in the Classroom and ‘Classroom Friendship’: Discourses and Performances of Friendship between Elementary School Girls'
  • B.A., Sociology and Anthropology; The Multidisciplinary Program in the Humanities (Summa Cum Laude), Tel Aviv University, 2015

Book Review

Assan, T. T. (2019). Review of the book Girls and their bodies: voice, presence, absence, by E. Lachover, E. Peled & M. Komem. Israeli Sociology, 20(1), 146-148 [Hebrew].

Awards and Scholarships

  • Graduate School of Social and Political Science International Award scholarship, 2019-present
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science College Research Award studentship, 2019-present
  • Israeli Anthropological Association’s Max Gluck Memorial Prize for Best M.A. Thesis, 2019
  • Jonathan Shapira Fund scholarship for thesis research proposal, 2017
  • Excellence scholarship, 2018
  • Rector’s Excellence in Teaching Award, 2017
  • M.A. tuition scholarship, 2015, 2016
  • Excellence scholarship, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Dean’s list, 2013, 2014, 2015

Conference Presentations

  • ‘Friendship in the Classroom and Classroom Friendship: Discourses and Performances of Friendship between Girls in Elementary School’, Sociology and Anthropology of Education Research Students’ Conference, Tel Aviv University, June 2019
  • ‘”It Didn’t Come From the Heart”: Intersections of the Emotional Discourse and the Friendship Discourse in the Elementary School’, the 47th Annual Conference of the Israeli Anthropological Association, Beer Sheva, May 2019
  • ‘Friendship in the Classroom and Classroom Friendship: Discourses and Performances of Friendship between Girls in Elementary School’, Haifa Workshop for Performance Conference, Haifa University, June 2018
  • ‘”She is Not a True Friend”: Drawing Social Borders Through the Discourse of Friendship in an Israeli Elementary School’, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion International Conference, Brunel University London, June 2017
  • ‘”Are You My Friend?”: Contradictory Responsibilities and Commitments in Researching Girls’, The Annual Interdisciplinary Conference for Research Students Hosted by the Sociology and Anthropology Department, Tel Aviv University, June 2017
  • ‘Being a Good Friend: Understanding and Constructing Friendship between Girls in Elementary School’, ‘Gender Crossing Borders’ Conference, Women and Gender Studies Program, Tel Aviv University, May 2017

Research and Teaching Experience

  • Research Assistant to Dr. Michal Kravel-Tovi, 2015-2018
    -Research projects: ‘The Writing is on the Wall: Anti Sexual Abuse Activism in Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Communities in Israel’; ‘Accounting of the Soul: Jewish Biopolitics, Statistical Truths and Narratives of Crisis in the Making of the American Jewry, 1990-the Present’
    -Wrote index for: When the State Winks: The Performances of Jewish Conversion in Israel, 2017, Michal Kravel-Tovi, New York: Columbia University Press;
    Taking Stock: Cultures of Enumeration in Contemporary Jewish Life, 2016, edited by Michal Kravel-Tovi and Deborah Dash Moore, Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Tutor, ‘Introduction to Anthropology’, Sociology and Anthropology Department, Tel Aviv University 2015-2018
  • Teaching Assistant, ‘Introduction to the Sociology of Education’, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts, 2017
  • Tutor, ‘Introduction to Sociology’, Sociology and Anthropology Department, Tel Aviv University 2014-2016