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Bedouin-Arab Families

The Impact Of Societal Change

The rapid shift within Bedouin-Arab society from a nomadic to a sedentary life in the last three decades of the twentieth century has resulted in sweeping social, economic, and political changes (Al-Krenawi 2000; Hana 1984). Bedouin men have left the traditional economic pursuits that kept them dependent on their families; Bedouin women have joined the labor force outside the home; and men and women both are becoming increasingly educated.

As of the end of the twentieth century, these changes have not substantially affected the values or the structure of the Bedouin family. Bedouin society remains a high context society, which means that it tends to emphasize the collective over the individual, and has a slower pace of societal change and greater social stability (Al-Krenawi 1998a). Thus, for example, despite the increased education of Bedouin women and their entry into the labor force, their social status in the home remains subordinate (Al-Krenawi 1999).

The changes, however, are opening up the once closed Bedouin family and giving rise to tension and conflicts. Sons and daughters who watch television and go to school are more exposed to the modern world than are their elders. When they bring home modern ideas, whether of freedom, self-expression, or dress, they often meet with strong disapproval and punishment. Young Bedouin are increasingly caught between the social demands for conformity to the community and family norms with which they were raised and their desire to pursue their own personal goals and aspirations. The price of the pursuit of self-actualization may be well be reduced family support and increased social isolation (Al-Krenawi 1998b).


See also: ISLAM; ISRAEL

Bibliography

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Al-Khatib, M. (2000). "The Arab World: Language and Cultural Issues." Language, Culture and Curriculum 13(2):121–125.

Al-Krenawi, A. (1998a). "Reconciling Western Treatment and Traditional Healing: A Social Worker Walks with the Wind." Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping 4(3):6-21.

Al-Krenawi, A. (1998b). "Family Therapy with a Multiparental/Multispousal Family." Family Process 37(1):65-81.

Al-Krenawi, A. (1999). "Social Workers Practicing in their Non-Western Home Communities: Overcoming Conflict between Professional and Cultural Values." Families in Society 80(5):488–495.

Al-Krenawi, A. (2000). "Bedouin-Arab Clients' Use of Proverbs in the Therapeutic Setting." International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling 22(2):91–102.

Al-Krenawi, A., and Graham, J. R. (1999). "Social Work Intervention with Bedouin-Arab Children in the Context of Blood Vengeance." Child Welfare 78(2):283–296.

Al-Krenawi, A., and Lightman, E. S. (2000). "Learning Achievement, Social Adjustment, and Family Conflict among Bedouin-Arab Children from Polygamous and Monogamous Families." Social Psychology 140(3):345–355.

Barakat, H. (1993). The Arab World: Society, Culture and State. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Denny, F. (1985). An Introduction to Islam. New York: Macmillian.

Fabietti, U. (1991). "Control of Resources and Social Cohesion. The Role of the Bedouin Domestic Group." Nomadic Peoples 28:18–27.

Ginat, J. (1987). Blood Disputes among Bedouin and Rural Arabs in Israel: Revenge, Mediation, Outcasting, and Family Honor. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Hana, N. S. (1984). The Desert Societies in the Arab World. Cairo: Daar Al-Marif (in Arabic).

Kay, S. (1978). The Bedouin. New York: Crane Rvssak.

Mass, M., and Al-Krenawi, A. (1994). "When a Man Encounters a Woman, Satan Is Also Present: Clinical Relationships in Bedouin Society." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 64(3):357–367.

Moors, A. (1995). Women, Property, and Islam Palestinian Experiences, 1920–1990. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Sharabi, H. (1988). Neopatriarchy: A Theory of Distorted Change in Arab Society. New York: Oxford University Press

ALEAN AL-KRENAWI

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural AspectsBedouin-Arab Families - Marriage And Divorce, Family Dynamics In Bedouin-arab Society, Interpersonal Dynamics, The Impact Of Societal Change