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Family and Society

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A website for K-12 educators featuring innovative resource on the culture, geography, history and religions of the Middle East, including essays, classroom activities, downloadable multimedia content and interactive Google Earth tours.


Interview with Jon Anderson

© 2002 NITLE

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In this interview John Anderson, Chair of the Anthropology Department of the Catholic University of America is interviewed about his observations on family structures in the Arab World. Many analogies to aspects of American culture will facilitate understanding for those without direct experience of the region. Among the topics he touches on are the arrangement of marriages, the role of the mother and father, the power structures in family relationships, the degree to which these mirror political structures, and the degree to which these family structures cut across sectarian lines. The discussion then focuses on Islam and the role of Islam in daily life and the manner to which customs accommodate religious practices; perceptions of the West from the Muslim world; and finally the impact of access to the Internet and information technology.

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