The Public Sphere and Morality in Southern Yemen
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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During the course of writing this book, I have received assistance from a number of people and institutions. To start with, I am indebted and grateful to all Adeni people, who allowed me to enter their lives to make my inquiries. In my initial stay in Aden in 1988â89, the General Union of Yemeni Women and in particular the legendary Radhia...
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This book is based on my ethnographic interest in Aden, Yemen, during the period spanning the years from 1988 to 2001.1 This era in Adeni history witnessed the final years of what was the Peopleâs Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY), the only Marxist regime in the Middle East ever to be followed by unification, in this case of the two Yemens in...
2. From Colonialism to a Neocolonial State
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The arguments presented in this book need a contextualization of the society as a morphology of all kinds of interests, be they political, ethnic, economic, or ideational in nature, so in this chapter I give a short historical introduction to Aden as a concentration of movement of things, ideas, and people. By âsocial morphology,â I mean the structure of a...
3. Law and Court
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This chapter focuses on the practice of law as a specific field of gender regulation. As I suggested in the introduction, it is vital to understand structural factors and which of them provide the limitations and resources for people to constitute practice. We are dealing with a field where moral frameworks are acted out and where they get their meaning. In looking...
4. The Making of the New Yemeni Woman
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In this chapter, I discuss the emerging familial ideology that patterned the PDRY era (1967â90) and what happened to it after Yemeni unification. In an attempt to show how this new ideology did not simply emerge from nothing and that it did not represent a radical break with the previous period, I describe its roots within the background of the local...
5. âThis Is Our Customs and Traditionsâ
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In this chapter, I explore notions of normativity, propriety, and morality the way they appear in talk among people about the opposite sex. I focus on different spheres of life where the sexes meet and make meaning of gendered divisions, such as in marriage, family life, child raising, work, and the world of imagination. I am in particular interested...
6. Five Social Maps and a Mystery
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In this chapter, I focus on moments that I myself experienced while spending time with people in cars, offices, homes, and places of worship and ritual. In trying to give words to these experiences, I tried to keep in mind that one should not presume any direct, unmediated link between normativity and practice. Not only have gaps between norms and acts...
7. Morality, Causality, and Social Praxis
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In this chapter, I draw together the material I have presented so far and attempt to outline a theoretical argument. My starting point here is that my ethnographic material speaks of heterogeneity in norms, ideal models, and moral representations. As I concluded in chapter 5, three distinct and separate discourses on propriety emerge in peopleâs...
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For analytical purposes, I have treated them as âmoral frameworks,â discussing them as repertoires of particular knowledge. As we saw in some of the ethnographic cases, at issue, first, are three different corpuses of knowledge; second, these sets of knowledge have to do with morality and normative action; and third, they are ârepertoiresâ in that they...
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Page Count: 360
Illustrations: 22 black and white illustrations
Publication Year: 2010