- Ph.D. Brandeis University, 1988
- Desert ethnographies (in the Israeli Negev, in African desert regions, and in Rajasthan, India)
- International development (A critical perspective with particular attention to the way gender is introduced into the "development" process)
- Non-western (postcolonial) feminist theories
- Social inequality (the intersections of class, gender, ethnicity and sexual identity)
- The Politics of Identities
- Social space
Current research projects:
- Nomadic People in Rajasthan, India.
- Social Space and Gendered Inequality in the Negev, Israel
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2012) "Locating the agency of marginalized people: Nomadic and post-nomadic service populations in Rajasthan, India." Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford (JASO) 4,1.
- S. Nagar Ron and P. Motzafi-Haller (2011) "'My Life? There is not Much to Tell': On Voice, Silence and Agency in Interviews with First generation Mizrahi Jewish Women Immigrants to Israel." Qualitative Inquiry 17,7: 653-663.
- O. Benjamin, D. Bernstein and P. Motzafi-Haller (2011) "Diversity in an Israeli Intersectional Analysis: The Salience of Employment Arrangements and Inter-Personal Relationships." Women's Studies International Forum 34,3: 220-231.
- O. Benjamin, D. Bernstein and P. Motzafi-Haller (2010) "Emotional politics in cleaning work: The case of Israel" Human Relations 63:,4: 337-357.
- P. Motzafi-Haller and Sarab Abu-Rabia Queder (2009) "The Politics of Gendered Development." A special issue of the journal Hagar: Studies in Culture, Polity and Identities 9,1. (English) 224 pages.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2009) "When classic ethnographic work is made impossible: The human politics of research in India." Journal of Anthropology and Humanism 43:2 pp 143-162.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2006) "Reading Bell Hooks in Israel: Radical Feminism, Critical Thinking, and the New Sisterhood." In Yanay, N., El-Or, T. Lubin, O., and Nave, H. (eds) Venues of Feminist Thinking: A Reader. Tel Aviv: Open University (Hebrew).
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2005) "The Politics of Academic Teaching in Israel: How War Affects Our Teaching of Ethnicity, Gender and Social History." Journal of Women's History 17:4 pp. 170-175
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2005) "An Outline for a Critical Feminist Historiography in Israel." In Tova Cohen and Shaul Regev (eds.) Isha MeMizrach, Isha BaMirach (Women of the East, Women in the East) (Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press) (Hebrew) pp 267-283.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2005) "New Challenges in Historiographic and Sociological Research of Oriental Jewish Women." In Tova Cohen and Shaul Regev (eds.) Isha MeMizrach, Isha BaMirach (Women of the East, Women in the East) (Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University Press) (Hebrew) pp 9-22.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2004) "Religiosity, Gender and Class in a Desert Town" in Yossi Yona and Yehuda Goodman (eds) In the Maelstorm of Identities: A Critical Look at Religion and Secularity in Israel. Tel Aviv: The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz HaMeuchad Press. (Hebrew) pp. 316-346.
- P. Motzafi-Haller, H. Hever and Y. Shenhav (eds.) (2002) Mizrahim in Israel: A Critical Observation into Israel's Ethnicity. Tel Aviv: Van Leer Institute and HaKibbutz HaMeuchad Publishing House; (Hebrew) 328 pages.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2002) "Mizrahi Intellectuals 1946-1951: Ethnic Identity and Its Boundaries." In Hever H., Shenhav Y., and P. Motzafi-Haller (eds.) in Mizrahim in Israel: A Critical Observation into Israel's Ethnicity. Tel Aviv: Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and HaKibbutz HaMeuchad Publishing House. (Hebrew) pp. 152-191.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (2001) "Scholarship, Identity, and Power: Mizrahi Women in Israel" Signs Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 697-734.
- P. Motzafi-Haller (1997) "You Have an Authentic Voice: Anthropological Research and the Politics of Representation." Teoriyah U'bikoret 11, pp. 81-99. (Hebrew)