Emirati Women by Jane Bristol-Rhys
Generations of Change

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Synopsis

The discovery of oil in the late 1960s catapulted the people of Abu Dhabi out of the isolating poverty into which it had plunged in the 1930s and onto the global stage. Massive construction projects built the city and infrastructural developments altered the physical and cultural landscape; in a few breathtaking decades, the lives of Emiratis were transformed by new opportunities and a social welfare system that offered free education, medical treatment, generous pensions, subsidies to families, and government incentives offered to citizens to participate in all sectors of the economy. Oil wealth also brought new expectations and new life-styles that are often sophisticated and lavish yet just as often criticised for being conspicuous displays of unbridled consumerism. Emirati Women offers a rare view into the lives of Emirati women and how they perceive the changes that have made poverty a dim and almost forgotten memory. In Emirati Women, Bristol-Rhys weaves together eight years of conversations and interviews with three generations of women, her observations of Emirati society in Abu Dhabi, the unflattering stereotypes commonly heard in the extensive expatriate communities, and discussions with her Emirati university students on topics ranging from marriage, independence, freedom, and the future.
 

About Jane Bristol-Rhys

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Jane Bristol-Rhys is an Arabic-speaking cultural anthropologist who has lived in the Middle East for twenty years. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Sheikh Zayed University and also teaches in Egypt.
 
Published September 1, 2010 by Hurst & Co.. 208 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences.