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Title: Between obedience and rebellion : a field study on the young women of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Author: Aljaouhari, Sahar
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 0692
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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This research explores the perceptions young Saudi women in Jeddah have of their lives. It seeks to uncover the role and different degrees that obedience and rebellion feature in the everyday lives of the young Saudi women in Jeddah. The subjects of the research were young Saudi women aged 16-21, all living in Jeddah at the time of the study and studying at either high school or university. The study employed a qualitative methodology to identify the extent of obedience and rebellion and their manifestations in the young women’s daily lives. The research relied on in-depth semi-structured interviews as the principal data collection method. By analysing the data derived from this process, I sought to explore the range, subtleties and continuum of rebellion and obedience in terms of three major themes: Hijab, gender relations, and young women’s private spaces. The study found that the participants associated Hijab with high social and religious values and had great respect for it. The conceptualization and practice of wearing Hijab, was associated with freedom and access to ‘the public sphere’ for many participants. In contrast, the study found that Qiwama (Guardianship), a religious Islamic concept that regulates family life, was much less respected by the participants, at least in its traditionalist incarnation that prevails in Saudi Arabia. The traditional Qiwama, per the findings, is a patriarchal structure that results in the reproduction of the social reality that marginalizes women, relegating them to follower status. The female participants rejected this as an incorrect interpretation of religious text. A majority of participants also pointed out that the definition of rebellion differs from one generation to the next. In fact, the participants noted that the actions of young Saudi women that are often classified as rebellious are actually demands for personal rights and an attempt to remove some of the restrictions they face in a subtle way that does not directly clash with family, religion and state policy. This study is important because it represents the unique contribution of giving a voice to young Saudi women to narrate their experiences and explore their ways of subtly negotiating with or conforming to social realities and by so doing enables the examination of the connections between obedience, rebellion, or subtle negotiation.
Supervisor: Mcghee, Derek ; Shah, Bindi Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman