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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.


This web site aims to bring to you a wide variety of resources on Arab Culture and Civilization, but much more is available. This bibliography includes a number of additional materials that you may wish to consult. Texts that have recently been annotated or added to this list are shown with a tan background. In addition, there are many other online resources that you can explore from our links list.

Arab society: social science perspectives / edited by Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Nicholas S. Hopkins. [2nd ed.]. Cairo, Egypt: American University in Cairo Press, ©1985

Arab women: old boundaries, new frontiers / edited by Judith E. Tucker. (Indiana series in Arab and Islamic studies) Bloomington: Indiana University Press, ©1993

Society and political structure in the Arab world. Edited by Menahem Milson. (Van Leer Foundation for the Advancement of Human Culture. Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation series.) New York, Humanities Press [©1973]

Aburish, Said K. Children of Bethany: the story of a Palestinian family / Said K. Aburish. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988

Ahmad, Laylá; Abd al-Latif. Women and gender in Islam: historical roots of a modern debate / Leila Ahmed. New Haven: Yale University Press, ©1992

Notes: A study of Islam from the perspective of a women's studies scholar. Examines the history of women's place in Islamic societies from the rise of Islam through the present, the historiography of the debate over women in Islam, as well as the role of women in Islam as compared to other Middle Eastern cultures and time periods.

Al Haj, Majid. Social change and family processes: Arab communities in Shefar-Am / Majid Al-Haj. (Brown University studies in population and development.) Boulder: Westview Press, 1987

Beeri, Eliezer. Army officers in Arab politics and society. [Translated from the Hebrew by Dov Ben-Abba. New York] Praeger, 1970 [©1969]

Eickelman, Dale. The Middle East and Central Asia: An Anthropological Approach. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 2002.

Notes: This book has a chapters on the tribe and on family and kinship. It also offers a long list of suggested readings.

Fernea, Elizabeth (ed.). Remembering Childhood in the Middle East: Memoirs from a Century of Change. Austin: University of Texas at Austin, 2002.

Notes: This book includes several intimate short stories of marriage, family connections, and childhood memories.

Ghabra, Shafeeq N. Palestinians in Kuwait: the family and the politics of survival / Shafeeq N. Ghabra. Boulder: Westview Press, 1987

Ghannam, Farha. Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation and Politics of Identity in Modern Cairo. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002.

Notes: Remaking the Modern is an anthropological analysis of the effect of relocation on Cairo's working-class. Its content stems from extensive interviews conducted by the author, a professor at Swarthmore College.

Heard-Bey, Frauke. From trucial states to United Arab Emirates: a society in transition / Frauke Heard-Bey. London; New York: Longman, 1982

Hopkins, Nichols (ed.). The New Arab Family. Cairo Papers in Social Sciences, 24 (1-2). Cairo: American University in Cairo Press, 2001.

Notes: A collection of anthropological, sociological, and demographic studies of the changing nature of marriage and divorce and family relationships in different Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Egypt.

Ibrahim, Saad Eddin. The new Arab social order: a study of the social impact of oil wealth / Saad Eddin Ibrahim. Boulder, Colo.: Westview; London, England: Croom Helm, 1982

Inhorn, Marcia. Infertility and Patriarchy: The Cultural Politics of Gender and Family Life in Egypt. University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996.

Notes: This is an anthropological study of the social meaning of infertility and how poor urban Egyptian women negotiate their status as childless women within a context that highly value children.

Joseph, Suad (ed.). Intimate Selving in Arab Families: Gender, Self, and Identity. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1999.

Notes: A collection of articles that addresses notions of connectivity, identity, and the power dynamics that structure relationships between daughter/mother, mother/son, and sister/brother.

Lancaster, William.. The Rwala Bedouin Today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Notes: An ethnographic study of the tribal structure and the changing role of tribal leaders in the political and social life on the Jordanian/Syrian borders.

Meijer, Roel (ed.). Alienation or integration of Arab youth: between family, state and street. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon, 2000

Nouraie-Simone, Fereshteh, ed.. On Shifting Ground. Muslim Women in the Global Era. New York: The Feminist Press of the City University of New York, 2005.

Notes: This edited volume focuses on the changing status and role of women in the era of gloabal communications and new media. Essays deal with the entire Middle East region, including countries as diverse as Saudi Arabia and Iran, as well as the participation of women in global movements.

Peteet, Julie. “Icons and Militants: Mothering in the Danger Zone,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, vol. 23, no. 1, 1997. pp. 103-129.

Rugh, Andrea. Within the Circle: Parents and Children in an Arab Village. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997.

Notes: An anthropological study of child rearing practices and relationships between parents and children in Syria. It also offers comparative insights into family life in the US and the Syrian village.

Sharabi, Hisham, 1927-. Neopatriarchy: a theory of distorted change in Arab society / Hisham Sharabi. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988

Wadud, Amina. Qur'an and Woman: Rereading the Sacred Text from a Woman's Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Notes: Arguing that since its beginnings, the Qur'an has been interpreted exclusively by men, this professor of Islamic Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University provides and alternative reading.

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