Claudia Liebelt

Beauty and the Norm

Beauty and the Norm

Debating Standardization in Bodily Appearance

Caring for the holy Land

Caring for the 'Holy Land'

For reviews see, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas in American Anthropologist, Vol. 115, No. 4 (December 2013), pp. 699-700 and Avram S. Bornstein in American Ethnologist, Vol. 40, No. 3 (August 2013), pp. 598–599.


Dr. Claudia Liebelt

Assistant Professor at the Chair for Social Anthropology

Contact Data

Email: claudia.liebelt(at)
Phone: +49 (0) 921 55-41 12
Fax: +49 (0) 921 55-41 18
Bureau: GW II, Room 0.02
Consultation hour: Wed., 3-4 pm

Research Interests and Background

Claudia Liebelt has completed her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology in Halle and is assistant professor at the Chair for Social Anthropology in Bayreuth. She also is the research director of a project financed by the German Research Foundation on  Aesthetic Body Modifications and Femininity in a Global City: Cultures of Beauty in Istanbul.

Her research interests include Urban Anthropology, the Anthropology of the Body, beauty and aesthetic body modification, Anthropology of Religion (esp. Islam), migration and citizenship, gender, care and domestic work, as well as Medical Anthropology. The scope of her work is reflected in her publications and her teaching, which includes courses on Transnational Migration, Care Work, Gender, the Anthropology of Religion, the Middle East, the Body, and Medical Anthropology. She has conducted fieldwork in Israel, Morocco, Turkey and the Philippines.

Her research project is based on ethnographic fieldwok in beauty salons and clinics in Istanbul. In it, she seeks to show the profound effects of the global beauty boom on urban residents' body images, gendered norms and practices. It analyses how hitherto dominant secular and culturally inflected norms of femininity are being challenged by the rise of a new pious urban middle class, as well as by ideals and images of hyper-femininity that rely on the ongoing consumption of beauty services in the global market.

In the framework of an earlier comparative research project at Keele University (UK), she studied the “Sociality, Caring and the Religious Imagination in the Filipino Diaspora” (2007-2010, PI Prof. Pnina Werbner). Among her publications is: Caring for the 'Holy Land': Filipina Domestic Workers in Israel (Berghahn Books 2011). She also co-directed an ethnographic documentary on Filipina return migrants in Manila (Cycles of Care, with Lizza M. David, UK/D 2011, 52 mins). Trailer

She is the review editor of Sociologus, Journal for Social Anthropology.

Academic Career

Currently Supervised Dissertations

Selected Publications

Universität Bayreuth -