Marnia Lazreg is professor of sociology at Hunter College. She is a graduate of the University of Algiers from which she received a Baccalaureate in Mathematics, and Philosophy as well as a licence-ès-Lettres, with three distinctions. She also received an MA and a Ph.D. in sociology from New York University. She was awarded fellowships at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women (Brown University); the Bunting Institute (Harvard); The Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), the Rockefeller Bellagio Center, Italy, as well as a Fulbright grant to Algeria. Her research focuses on the structures that inform cultural change as well as shape conceptions of self, identity and gender relations in societies undergoing the transition from colonial and/or economic dependence to political sovereignty. A parallel interest is to identify and theorize the frequent gap between theoretical concepts applied to non-Western societies and the reality they intend to explain, which may hamper cross cultural understanding.