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Title: Male domination, female revolt : race, class and gender in Kuwaiti women's fiction
Author: Tijani, Olatunbosun Ishaq
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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This thesis investigates various form of women’s resistance to male domination in Kuwaiti society, as represented in Kuwaiti women’s fiction. Two short stories: Hayfā’ Hāshim’s “al-Intiqām al-rahīb” (1953) and Laylā al-‘Uthmān’s “Min milaff imra’s” (1979), and three novels: al-‘Uthmān’s Wasmiyya takhruj min al-bahr (1986), Tayba al-Ibrāhīm’s Mudhakkirāt khādim (1995), and Fawziyya S. al-Sālim’s Muzūn (2000) are closely analysed, drawing from Marxist-feminist literary criticism. I argue that these texts portray their respective heroines, representing pre-oil generations of Kuwaiti women – born before or in the first half of the twentieth century – as resistant and/or revolutionary figures, contrary to the common notion of their stereotypical passivity and submissiveness. In view of the fact that these texts, as well as some others that are not represented here, form a minority among Kuwaiti women’s fiction, they are here considered as ‘feminist revolutionary’ texts. Part One introduces Kuwait and its people, with special reference to the development of Kuwaiti fiction (Chapter One), and the Kuwaiti female literary tradition (Chapter Two). Part Two (Chapters Three through Six) demonstrates how the Kuwaiti patriarchal tradition has affected, and continues to affect, race, class and gender relations in Kuwait, in a way that is discriminatory against and oppressive to women. An example of this is found in the sex-related concept of sharaf or fadīha (social honour or dishonour) – a-common-denominator ideology which each of the texts seeks to reflect and deconstruct. Exploring the agency which each of the authors has constructed for her heroine’s defiance, evasion, or subversion of patriarchal authority, this study asserts that some pre-oil Kuwaiti women have been actively resistant to male domination, and that they have worked for social change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available