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The history of the Middle Eastern family presents as many questions as there are currently answers. Who lived together in the household? Who married whom and for how long? Who got a piece of the patrimonial pie? These are the questions that Margaret Meriwether investigates in this groundbreaking study of family life among the upper classes of the Ottoman Empire in the pre-modern and early modern period.
Meriwether recreates Aleppo family life over time from records kept by the Islamic religious courts that held jurisdiction over all matters of family law and property transactions. From this research, she asserts that the stereotype of the large, patriarchal patrilineal family rarely existed in reality. Instead, Aleppo's notables organized their families in a great diversity of ways, despite the fact that they were all members of the same social class with widely shared cultural values, acting under the same system of family law. She concludes that this had important implications for gender relations and demonstrates that it gave women more authority and greater autonomy than is usually acknowledged.
In this important new work, Margaret Meriwether and Judith Tucker synthesize and make accessible the results of the extensive research on women and gender done over the last twenty years. Using new theoretical approaches and methodologies as well as nontraditional sources, scholars studying women and gender issues in Middle Eastern societies have made great progress in shedding light on these complex subjects. "A Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East" provides an overview of this scholarship on women and gender in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Middle East.The book is organized along thematic lines that reflect major focuses of research in this area--gender and work, gender and the state, gender and law, gender and religion, and feminist movements--and each chapter is written by a scholar who has done original research on the topic. Although structured around the individual author's own work, the chapters also include overviews and assessments of other research, highlights of ongoing debates and key issues, and comparisons across regions of the Middle East. An insightful introduction centers the various chapters around key theoretical, methodological, and historical issues and makes connections with other areas of social historical research on the Middle East and with research on gender and women's history in other parts of the world.Although there are many studies available on women and gender, "A Social History of Women and Gender in the Modern Middle East" provides a breadth of coverage and assessment of the field that is not found elsewhere.
In this important new work, Margaret Meriwether and Judith Tucker synthesize and make accessible the results of the extensive research on women and gender done over the last twenty years. Using new theoretical approaches and methodologies as well as nontraditional sources, scholars studying women and gender issues in Middle Eastern societies have m
This collection of articles by 14 Middle East historians is a pathbreaking work in the history of Middle Eastern women prior to the contemporary era. The collection seeks to begin the task of reconstructing the history of (Muslim) women's experience in the middle centuries of the Ottoman era, between the mid-seventeenth century and the early nineteenth, prior to hegemonic European involvement in the region and prior to the "modernizing reforms' inaugurated by the Ottoman regime.
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