Serena is a Sociology PhD student at George Mason University. She previously earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Anthropology from George Mason where she researched imported feminized labor in Lebanon, analyzing the xenophobic tendencies of the Lebanese government and its people and how this impacts the import and export of human labor, why migrant women come to Lebanon to work as domestic workers, and why they stay after hearing “horror stories” of rampant abuse. Her thesis suggested reform and further study through analyzing the activity of Lebanon-based NGOs and the effects of news media versus social media groups run by NGOs and the fight for progress fueled by community members.
Through her next research endeavor, Serena's work will focus on first-generation Levantine Americans who consider themselves avid gamers and the role that playing video games has in their everyday lives and overall identity, for an ethnographic understanding of how games that participants play may allow them to experience a different life. This research will explore if participants find connection and identity in imaginary gaming spaces, or if gaming reminds them of a physical place tied to their background, and will look to find an understanding if participants whose parents immigrated from countries that have stigma or laws against gender nonconformity and homosexuality find solace in gaming spaces that may give them freedom. It is her hope this research will shed light on how Levantine Americans use gaming for socializing and escapism, and how it may empower their identities, while also emphasizing that accessibility to gaming and its impact can contribute to storytelling and localization in game development for people who find themselves between cultures.
Hughes Rinker, C., Oliver Pelland, and Serena Abdallah. 2017. “Islamic Moral Values and End-of-Life Care: Examining the Intersection of Religious Beliefs and the U.S. Health Care System.” Southern Anthropologist 37(1):26-58.
COMM 101 - Fundamentals of Communication Lab
B.A. in Anthropology - George Mason University
M.A. in Anthropology - George Mason University