A Society of Young Women

Author: Amelie Le Renard
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804791373
Release Date: 2014-06-25
Genre: Social Science

The cities of Saudi Arabia are among the most gender segregated in the world. In recent years the Saudi government has felt increasing international pressure to offer greater roles for women in society. Implicit in these calls for reform, however, is an assumption that the only "real" society is male society. Little consideration has been given to the rapidly evolving activities within women's spaces. This book joins young urban women in their daily lives—in the workplace, on the female university campus, at the mall—to show how these women are transforming Saudi cities from within and creating their own urban, professional, consumerist lifestyles. As young Saudi women are emerging as an increasingly visible social group, they are shaping new social norms. Their shared urban spaces offer women the opportunity to shed certain constraints and imagine themselves in new roles. But to feel included in this peer group, women must adhere to new constraints: to be sophisticated, fashionable, feminine, and modern. The position of "other" women—poor, rural, or non-Saudi women—is increasingly marginalized. While young urban women may embody the image of a "reformed" Saudi nation, the reform project ultimately remains incomplete, drawing new hierarchies and lines of exclusion among women.

A Society of Young Women

Author: Amelie Le Renard
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804785430
Release Date: 2014-06-25
Genre: Social Science

The cities of Saudi Arabia are among the most gender segregated in the world. In recent years the Saudi government has felt increasing international pressure to offer greater roles for women in society. Implicit in these calls for reform, however, is an assumption that the only "real" society is male society. Little consideration has been given to the rapidly evolving activities within women's spaces. This book joins young urban women in their daily lives—in the workplace, on the female university campus, at the mall—to show how these women are transforming Saudi cities from within and creating their own urban, professional, consumerist lifestyles. As young Saudi women are emerging as an increasingly visible social group, they are shaping new social norms. Their shared urban spaces offer women the opportunity to shed certain constraints and imagine themselves in new roles. But to feel included in this peer group, women must adhere to new constraints: to be sophisticated, fashionable, feminine, and modern. The position of "other" women—poor, rural, or non-Saudi women—is increasingly marginalized. While young urban women may embody the image of a "reformed" Saudi nation, the reform project ultimately remains incomplete, drawing new hierarchies and lines of exclusion among women.

A Society of Young Women

Author: Amelie Le Renard
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804785440
Release Date: 2014-06-25
Genre: Social Science

This book joins young Saudi women in their daily lives?in the workplace, on the female university campus, at the mall?to show how these women are transforming the country from within and creating their own urban, professional, consumerist lifestyles.

A Most Masculine State

Author: Madawi Al-Rasheed
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139619004
Release Date: 2013-03-15
Genre: Political Science

Women in Saudi Arabia are often described as either victims of patriarchal religion and society or successful survivors of discrimination imposed on them by others. Madawi Al-Rasheed's new book goes beyond these conventional tropes to probe the historical, political and religious forces that have, across the years, delayed and thwarted their emancipation. The book demonstrates how, under the patronage of the state and its religious nationalism, women have become hostage to contradictory political projects that on the one hand demand female piety, and on the other hand encourage modernity. Drawing on state documents, media sources and interviews with women from across Saudi society, the book examines the intersection between gender, religion and politics to explain these contradictions and to show that, despite these restraints, vibrant debates on the question of women are opening up as the struggle for recognition and equality finally gets under way.

Mobilizing Piety

Author: Rachel Rinaldo
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199948123
Release Date: 2013-10-03
Genre: Religion

"Investigates how different approaches to religious interpretation influence Indonesian women's engagement with global Islam and feminism. It also explores the consequences of a more public Islam for women's participation in the public sphere. The book is based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork between 2002 and 2010 with four different groups of women activists in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. The groups include a secular feminist NGO (Solidaritas Perempuan), a Muslim women's rights NGO (Rahima), the women's group of one of the country's largest Muslim organizations (Fatayat N.U.), and women in a conservative Muslim political party (the Prosperous Justice Party). The women in these have all been deeply influenced by the ongoing Islamic revival. In addition, they are part of the urban middle class. The women of Rahima and Fatayat N.U. are influenced by global feminism and Islamic discourses. They use Islam to express feminist and liberal ideals of equality and rights, and they strive to integrate these frameworks in their own lives. In contrast, women in the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) reject feminism as Western and secular and are more influenced by global Islamic discourses. Although some scholars argue that pious Islam and liberal ideals are incompatible, these activists embrace modernity and sometimes speak in terms of individual agency, empowerment, and rights. The women of Solidaritas Perempuan maintain a balance between their secular activism and personal religiosity. The overall conclusion of Mobilizing Piety is that the Islamic revival has not stymied but has in fact helped to empower many Indonesian women, especially by allowing them to participate in national debates about moral and religious issues"--

Saudi Arabia in Transition

Author: Bernard Haykel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107006294
Release Date: 2015-01-19
Genre: Political Science

"Making sense of Saudi Arabia is crucially important today. The kingdom's western province contains the heart of Islam, and it is the United States' closest Arab ally and the largest producer of oil in the world. However, the country is undergoing rapid change: its aged leadership is ceding power to a new generation, and its society, dominated by young people, is restive. Saudi Arabia has long remained closed to foreign scholars, with a select few academics allowed into the kingdom over the past decade. This book presents the fruits of their research as well as those of the most prominent Saudi academics in the field. This volume focuses on different sectors of Saudi society and examines how the changes of the past few decades have affected each. It reflects new insights and provides the most up-to-date research on the country's social, cultural, economic and political dynamics"--

Consuming Desires

Author: Frances Hasso
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804776400
Release Date: 2010-10-20
Genre: Religion

Over the course of the twentieth century, most Middle East states adopted a shari'a-based system for recognizing marriages. Partly in reaction to these dynamics, new types of marriage that evade the control of the state and religious authorities have emerged. These marriages allow for men and women to engage in sexual relationships, but do not require that they register the marriage with the state, that they live together, or that the man be financially responsible for the wife or household. In Consuming Desires, Frances Hasso explores the extent to which these new relationship forms are used and to what ends, as well as the legal and cultural responses to such innovations. She outlines what is at stake for the various groups—the state, religious leaders, opposition groups, young people, men and women of different classes and locations, and feminist organizations—in arguments for and against these relationship forms.

On Saudi Arabia

Author: Karen Elliott House
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307960993
Release Date: 2012-09-18
Genre: History

From the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who has spent the last thirty years writing about Saudi Arabia—as diplomatic correspondent, foreign editor, and then publisher of The Wall Street Journal—an important and timely book that explores all facets of life in this shrouded Kingdom: its tribal past, its complicated present, its precarious future. Through observation, anecdote, extensive interviews, and analysis Karen Elliot House navigates the maze in which Saudi citizens find themselves trapped and reveals the mysterious nation that is the world’s largest exporter of oil, critical to global stability, and a source of Islamic terrorists. In her probing and sharp-eyed portrait, we see Saudi Arabia, one of the last absolute monarchies in the world, considered to be the final bulwark against revolution in the region, as threatened by multiple fissures and forces, its levers of power controlled by a handful of elderly Al Saud princes with an average age of 77 years and an extended family of some 7,000 princes. Yet at least 60 percent of the increasingly restive population they rule is under the age of 20. The author writes that oil-rich Saudi Arabia has become a rundown welfare state. The public pays no taxes; gets free education and health care; and receives subsidized water, electricity, and energy (a gallon of gasoline is cheaper in the Kingdom than a bottle of water), with its petrodollars buying less and less loyalty. House makes clear that the royal family also uses Islam’s requirement of obedience to Allah—and by extension to earthly rulers—to perpetuate Al Saud rule. Behind the Saudi facade of order and obedience, today’s Saudi youth, frustrated by social conformity, are reaching out to one another and to a wider world beyond their cloistered country. Some 50 percent of Saudi youth is on the Internet; 5.1 million Saudis are on Facebook. To write this book, the author interviewed most of the key members of the very private royal family. She writes about King Abdullah’s modest efforts to relax some of the kingdom’s most oppressive social restrictions; women are now allowed to acquire photo ID cards, finally giving them an identity independent from their male guardians, and are newly able to register their own businesses but are still forbidden to drive and are barred from most jobs. With extraordinary access to Saudis—from key religious leaders and dissident imams to women at university and impoverished widows, from government officials and political dissidents to young successful Saudis and those who chose the path of terrorism—House argues that most Saudis do not want democracy but seek change nevertheless; they want a government that provides basic services without subjecting citizens to the indignity of begging princes for handouts; a government less corrupt and more transparent in how it spends hundreds of billions of annual oil revenue; a kingdom ruled by law, not royal whim. In House’s assessment of Saudi Arabia’s future, she compares the country today to the Soviet Union before Mikhail Gorbachev arrived with reform policies that proved too little too late after decades of stagnation under one aged and infirm Soviet leader after another. She discusses what the next generation of royal princes might bring and the choices the kingdom faces: continued economic and social stultification with growing risk of instability, or an opening of society to individual initiative and enterprise with the risk that this, too, undermines the Al Saud hold on power. A riveting book—informed, authoritative, illuminating—about a country that could well be on the brink, and an in-depth examination of what all this portends for Saudi Arabia’s future, and for our own. From the Hardcover edition.

Saudi Arabia on the Edge

Author: Thomas W. Lippman
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
ISBN: 9781597976886
Release Date: 2012-01
Genre: History

Of all the countries in the world that are vital to the strategic and economic interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia is the least understood by the American people. This title dissects this central Saudi paradox for American readers, including diplomats, policymakers, scholars, and students of foreign policy.

Odd Tribes

Author: John Hartigan
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822387206
Release Date: 2005-10-24
Genre: Social Science

Odd Tribes challenges theories of whiteness and critical race studies by examining the tangles of privilege, debasement, power, and stigma that constitute white identity. Considering the relation of phantasmatic cultural forms such as the racial stereotype “white trash” to the actual social conditions of poor whites, John Hartigan Jr. generates new insights into the ways that race, class, and gender are fundamentally interconnected. By tracing the historical interplay of stereotypes, popular cultural representations, and the social sciences’ objectifications of poverty, Hartigan demonstrates how constructions of whiteness continually depend on the vigilant maintenance of class and gender decorums. Odd Tribes engages debates in history, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies over how race matters. Hartigan tracks the spread of “white trash” from an epithet used only in the South prior to the Civil War to one invoked throughout the country by the early twentieth century. He also recounts how the cultural figure of “white trash” influenced academic and popular writings on the urban poor from the 1880s through the 1990s. Hartigan’s critical reading of the historical uses of degrading images of poor whites to ratify lines of color in this country culminates in an analysis of how contemporary performers such as Eminem and Roseanne Barr challenge stereotypical representations of “white trash” by claiming the identity as their own. Odd Tribes presents a compelling vision of what cultural studies can be when diverse research methodologies and conceptual frameworks are brought to bear on pressing social issues.

Saudi Arabia Exposed

Author: John R. Bradley
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781466893047
Release Date: 2015-03-31
Genre: Political Science

Saudi Arabia: land of oil, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, and a crucial American ally. As the only Western journalist to have extensively worked in the Saudi Kingdom, John R. Bradley is uniquely able to expose the turmoil that is shaking the House of Saud to its foundations. From the heart of the secretive Islamic kingdom's urban centers to its most remote mountainous terrain, from the homes of royalty to the slums of its poorest inhabitants, he provides intimate details and reveals underlying regional, religious, and tribal rivalries. Bradley highlights tensions generated by social change, focuses on the educational system, the increasing restlessness of Saudi youth faced with limited opportunities for cultural and political expression, and the predicament of Saudi women seeking opportunities but facing constraints. What are the implications for the Sauds and the West? This book offers a startling look at the present predicament and a troubling view of the future.

Paradise Beneath Her Feet

Author: Isobel Coleman
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0679603697
Release Date: 2010-04-27
Genre: Social Science

Now with a new Preface and Afterword by the author “Outstanding . . . [Isobel Coleman] takes us into remote villages and urban bureaucracies to find the brave men and women working to create change in the Middle East.”—Los Angeles Times In this timely and important book, Isobel Coleman shows how Muslim women and men across the Middle East are working within Islam to fight for women’s rights in a growing movement of Islamic feminism. Journeying through Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, Coleman introduces the reader to influential Islamic feminist thinkers and successful grassroots activists working to create economic, political, and educational opportunities for women. Their advocacy for women’s rights based on more progressive interpretations of Islam are critical to bridging the conflict between those championing reform and those seeking to oppress women in the name of religious tradition. Socially, culturally, economically, and politically, the future of the region depends on finding ways to accommodate human rights, and in particular women’s rights, with Islamic law. These reformers—and thousands of others—are the people leading the way forward. Featuring new material that addresses how the Arab uprisings and other recent events have affected the social and political landscape of the region, Paradise Beneath Her Feet offers a message of hope: Change is coming to the Middle East—and more often than not, it is being led by women. Praise for Paradise Beneath Her Feet “Clearly written, deeply moving, and wonderfully enlightening.”—Reza Aslan, author of No god but God “[An] engrossing portrait of real Muslim women that reveals how Islamic feminists . . . are working with and within the culture, rather than against it . . . to forge ‘a legitimate Islamic alternative to the current repressive system.’ Coleman doesn’t diminish the enormity of the struggle, but she argues convincingly that it might yet rewrite Islam’s future.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A nuanced view of Islam’s role in public life that is cautiously hopeful.”—The Economist “Eye-opening . . . Deeply religious, profoundly determined and modern in every way, these are twenty-first-century women bent on change. Hear them roar and see a future being born before our eyes.”—Booklist

Hunters Predators and Prey

Author: Frédéric Laugrand
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781782384069
Release Date: 2014-10-30
Genre: Social Science

Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. The authors examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, they discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered 'prey par excellence': the caribou, the seals and the whale, symbol of the whole. By giving precedence to Inuit categories such as 'inua' (owner) and 'tarniq' (shade) over European concepts such as 'spirit 'and 'soul', the book compares and contrasts human beings and animals to provide a better understanding of human-animal relationships in a hunting society.

Listen to the Heron s Words

Author: Gloria Goodwin Raheja
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520083717
Release Date: 1994-04-29
Genre: Social Science

In many South Asian oral traditions, herons are viewed as duplicitous and conniving. These traditions tend also to view women as fragmented identities, dangerously split between virtue and virtuosity, between loyalties to their own families and those of their husbands. In women's songs, however, symbolic herons speak, telling of alternative moral perspectives shaped by women. The heron's words—and women's expressive genres more generally—criticize pervasive North Indian ideologies of gender and kinship that place women in subordinate positions. By inviting readers to "listen to the heron's words," the authors convey this shift in moral perspective and suggest that these spoken truths are compelling and consequential for the women in North India. The songs and narratives bear witness to a provocative cultural dissonance embedded in women's speech. This book reveals the power of these critical commentaries and the fluid and permeable boundaries between spoken words and the lives of ordinary village women.

Women and Words in Saudi Arabia

Author: Saddeka Arebi
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023108420X
Release Date: 1994-01
Genre: History

This book explores the puzzling phenomenon of new veiling practices among lower middle class women in Cairo, Egypt. Although these women are part of a modernizing middle class, they also voluntarily adopt a traditional symbol of female subordination. How can this paradox be explained? An explanation emerges which reconceptualizes what appears to be reactionary behavior as a new style of political struggle--as accommodating protest. These women, most of them clerical workers in the large government bureaucracy, are ambivalent about working outside the home, considering it a change which brings new burdens as well as some important benefits. At the same time they realize that leaving home and family is creating an intolerable situation of the erosion of their social status and the loss of their traditional identity. The new veiling expresses women's protest against this. MacLeod argues that the symbolism of the new veiling emerges from this tense subcultural dilemma, involving elements of both resistance and acquiescence.