Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East

Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East

Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East

Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East

Synopsis

Synthesizing the results of the extensive research on women & gender done over the last twenty years, Margaret Meriwether & Judith Tucker provide an accessible overview of the scholarship on women & gender in the nineteenth- & twentieth-century Middle East. The book is organized along thematic lines that reflect major focuses of research in this area-gender & work, gender & the state, gender & law, gender & religion, & feminist movements-& each chapter is written by a scholar who has done original research on the topic.

Excerpt

Over the past decades, important new perspectives on the modern Middle East have emerged due to new sources and new questions as well as the changing historical context. Old paradigms, rooted in modernization theory and the rise of nationalism in the region, are gradually giving way to more complex understandings grounded in social and cultural history. From a field preoccupied with the state and elite groups, recent studies of the Middle East have begun to incorporate the experiences of nonelite women, workers, peasants, ethnic minorities, and tribespeople. While this evolution is still continuing, already the outlines of a new social history of the region are visible.

In this moment of intellectual transition, a series devoted to the social history of the Middle East has much to contribute. The Westview Press series The Social History of the Modern Middle East seeks to provide a focus for historically grounded social science research on the Middle East. Rather than seeing in narrow disciplinary terms, this series views the region using a broad interdisciplinary space within the social sciences, a zone of convergence between anthropology, politics, sociology, women's studies, and history. It seeks to stimulate and focus methodological reflection and scholarship on topics of importance to the Middle Eastern field and to make more widely available the work of a new generation of researchers. Books in the series are designed to supplement courses at the upper division and graduate levels not only in modern Middle Eastern history, but also in anthropology, politics, sociology, and women's studies.

Research on the social history of the Middle East since 1750 has tended to proceed unevenly across the region, with scholars who focus on similar topics in different countries often unaware of one another's work. Work on the Middle East has also been relatively poorly integrated into broader trends affecting the disciplines of the Middle East field. Several reasons may be adduced in explanation. In part, the particular linguistic demands of the field have encouraged specialization in one cultural area or even one . . .

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