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The Lives of Girls and Women in Bahrain and Qatar: Dress, Marriage, Health and Education in the Pearl Fishing and Early Oil Era

Alsada, Maryam Mohamed Abdulla Ebrahim; (2023) The Lives of Girls and Women in Bahrain and Qatar: Dress, Marriage, Health and Education in the Pearl Fishing and Early Oil Era. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Drawing from data on Bahrain and Qatar, this dissertation is a study of women’s lived experiences during the pearl trade era and the transition to an oil economy. It explores how intersections in women’s identities influenced their positionalities and opportunities for productive labor within different socioeconomic institutions, namely: dress, education, marriage, and health. This dissertation embeds its analysis of women’s lived experiences within the emic concept of ‛ʿayb’ and the theoretical frameworks of postcolonial and feminist historiography. ‛ʿayb’ is the emic label given to behavior that obstructs the fantasy of a flawless society. Overall, this dissertation draws information from 32 interviews with 30 interlocutors. To collect data for this research project, I conducted 17 interviews with 18 interlocutors from Bahrain and Qatar. I also considered 29 interviews conducted by Msheireb Museums and reproduced relevant excerpts for my data from 15 interviews with 12 interlocutors. This dissertation's research questions are: 1. How did women live in the past? 2. What economic and social roles did women in Bahrain and Qatar play during the pearl trade and early oil eras? 3. How do the possibilities of production, through both waged and unwaged labor, influence the parameters of ʿayb? Conversely, how do the parameters of ʿayb influence women’s possibilities of production? Intersections of my identities affected my positionality against the interlocutors I interviewed and allowed me to synthesize data with the cultural sensitivity required in postcolonial and gender studies. As a Sunni Muslim woman from the Arabian littoral of the Gulf, I have a particular analytical insight into ʿayb’s operation in rapidly changing, yet conservative, societies.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Lives of Girls and Women in Bahrain and Qatar: Dress, Marriage, Health and Education in the Pearl Fishing and Early Oil Era
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2023. 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 SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10164404
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