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Disentangling the Qatari identity discourse: social engineering and the dialectics of identity formation

Al-Shamlan, Maryam Tariq Marzouq; (2021) Disentangling the Qatari identity discourse: social engineering and the dialectics of identity formation. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study starts with the premise that a complex identity discourse is forming in Qatar, which must be traced and deconstructed to enable an understanding of the processes and the social and cultural formations that constituted this discourse. Over the past three decades, a number of social engineering endeavours have been implemented in the Qatari nationalism project to consolidate a national identity and establish a hegemonic national culture. These endeavours have contributed to shaping the ‘question of identity’ and the dialectics and social contentions within the Qatari identity discourse. The aim of this research is to explore and understand the emergence of the ‘question of identity’ and what turned the Qatari identity discourse into a contemporary debate. The study is conducted through a Foucauldian genealogical inquiry, that involves the ‘problematization’ of the present Qatari reality, in order to approach the Qatari identity discourse and its dialectics and formation process outside and independently from the normative investigative parameters and theoretical lenses that currently define it. This is done using interviews with policy instigators and social influencers (of different age ranges and social and professional backgrounds), a set of two surveys conducted with the general public (pre and post blockade), as well as informal observations to understand the current socio-cultural capital, undercurrents and changes from the perspective of the local society. The multiple dimensions of the Qatari identity discourse are investigated in order to comprehend the society’s perceptions, understandings and dialectics – about the identity - during an era of rapid nation-state building and modernization. The thesis contends that the endeavours of the Qatari nationalism project along with processes of globalization and modernity, as well as the blockade imposed on Qatar have played a role in both challenging and re-articulating the Qatari identity discourse, in addition to enabling the cultivation of a hegemonic national Qatari culture.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Disentangling the Qatari identity discourse: social engineering and the dialectics of identity formation
Event: UCL
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: International
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: International > UCL - Qatar
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122331
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