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Title: Nomadic sedentarisation with special reference to the Shararat of northern Saudi Arabia
Author: Alradihan, K. O.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2001
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In an attempt to identify reasons why the nomadic Shararat sedentarised, and what effects sedentarisation had on them, ethnographic fieldwork was carried out in Tabarjal, Saudi Arabia between July 1997 and February 1998. Investigation highlights many reasons and directly implicated are: the decline of the pastoral economy following the country's export of oil, the 1950-1960 drought; and finally state intervention to induce the Shararat to settle. Supplementary to examining these issues is an examination of the impact of sedentarisation focused on: local economy in Tabarjal, ethnic identity of the Shararat, and gender relations. Sedentarisation is shown to be a complex process, with each group responding differently. After a period of uncertainty, the Shararat viewed sedentarisation in terms of its advantages as an alternative to nomadism, such as the economic benefits in addition to peace and security, which the area lacked in the pre-Saudi period. Economically, individuals now have access to wealth from various sources. Consequently, social relations are evolving whilst ethnically sedentarisation has incorporated the Shararat into the larger Saudi society, this has released them from the primitive ethnic classification which belongs to a tribal past. Hence, their position with respect to ethnic identity has been redefined. Gender relations and the position of women in society have also been affected. Previous segregation has been superseded by their assimilation into the rest of society. The overwhelming power of religion and economic changes have necessitated alteration and reshaping of gender relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available