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"--

What Kind of Liberation

Author: Nadje Sadig Al-Ali
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520257294
Release Date: 2009-01-01
Genre: History

"There is something to learn, literally, on every page here."--Cynthia Enloe, from the foreword "This is a fluent and highly informed account of the women of Iraq during a time of ever increasing political turmoil, economic disaster and foreign invasion. It gives a fascinating insight into the way Iraqi society really works and is far superior in quality to most of what has been written about Iraq in war and peace."--Patrick Cockburn, author of Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq

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.

Consuming Desires

Author: Frances Hasso
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804761550
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Religion

Consuming Desires examines new forms of marriage emerging in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates in reaction, in part, to the governments' increasing attempts to control sexuality with shari'a law.

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"--

Women and Words in Saudi Arabia

Author: Saddeka Arebi
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231084218
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.

Live and Die Like a Man

Author: Farha Ghannam
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804787918
Release Date: 2013-09-04
Genre: Social Science

Watching the revolution of January 2011, the world saw Egyptians, men and women, come together to fight for freedom and social justice. These events gave renewed urgency to the fraught topic of gender in the Middle East. The role of women in public life, the meaning of manhood, and the future of gender inequalities are hotly debated by religious figures, government officials, activists, scholars, and ordinary citizens throughout Egypt. Live and Die Like a Man presents a unique twist on traditional understandings of gender and gender roles, shifting the attention to men and exploring how they are collectively "produced" as gendered subjects. It traces how masculinity is continuously maintained and reaffirmed by both men and women under changing socio-economic and political conditions. Over a period of nearly twenty years, Farha Ghannam lived and conducted research in al-Zawiya, a low-income neighborhood not far from Tahrir Square in northern Cairo. Detailing her daily encounters and ongoing interviews, she develops life stories that reveal the everyday practices and struggles of the neighborhood over the years. We meet Hiba and her husband as they celebrate the birth of their first son and begin to teach him how to become a man; Samer, a forty-year-old man trying to find a suitable wife; Abu Hosni, who struggled with different illnesses; and other local men and women who share their reactions to the uprising and the changing situation in Egypt. Against this backdrop of individual experiences, Ghannam develops the concept of masculine trajectories to account for the various paths men can take to embody social norms. In showing how men work to realize a "male ideal," she counters the prevalent dehumanizing stereotypes of Middle Eastern men all too frequently reproduced in media reports, and opens new spaces for rethinking patriarchal structures and their constraining effects on both men and women.

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.

Inside The Mirage

Author: Thomas W. Lippman
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0786742534
Release Date: 2008-11-10
Genre: History

"In Inside the Mirage, veteran Middle East journalist Thomas W. Lippman shows that behind the official proclamations of friendship and alliance lies a complex relationship that has often been strained by the mutual aversion of two very different societies. Today the U.S.-Saudi partnership faces its greatest challenge as younger Saudis, less enamored of America, rise to prominence and Americans, scorched by Saudi-based terrorism, question the value of their ties to the desert kingdom."--Jacket.

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.

The Islamic Utopia

Author: Andrew Hammond
Publisher: Pluto Press
ISBN: 0745332706
Release Date: 2012-11-13
Genre: History

Will Saudi Arabia join the democratic wave in the Middle East? Despite being surrounded by states experiencing uprisings and revolutions, Saudi Arabia appears to be a "black hole" for democracy in the Middle East – secretive, highly repressive and still propped up by the West. The Islamic Utopia uses a range of sources including first-hand reporting and recently released WikiLeaks documents to examine Saudi Arabia in the decade after the 9/11 attacks, when King Abdullah's "reform" agenda took center stage in public debate. It considers Saudi claims of "exemption" from the democratic demands of the Arab Spring. Andrew Hammond argues that for too long Western media and governments have accepted Saudi leaders' claims to be a buttress against jihadist Islam and that a new policy is needed towards the House of Saud.