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Title: Civil marriage in Lebanon as a site for resistance and the emergence of sectarian and other political identities
Author: Almuedo-Castillo, Ana
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 2615
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the case of civil marriage in Lebanon as an example of the contestation of sectarian identities and a political system. Sectarianism in Lebanon and in the Middle East has become not only a seemingly naturally-produced social categorisation, but also the hegemonic epistemological concept through which every social and political act is interpreted. In contrast to this, the Lebanese civil married spouses interviewed in this thesis, challenge sectarian practices and discourse. I examined the context and identities civil married spouses practice. I conclude that certain sites of resistance favour the emergence of civil marriage, where individuals perform alternative practices and political identities. Practices of resistance may cycically trigger the emergence of other pockets of resistance where contestation happens. Nonetheless, as ethnographic research shows, isolated cases of civil marriage happen in many different contexts and circumstances. This research also investigates the limits of civil marriage as acts of social change. I have identified intention and consciousness as key drive which allow political acts to become transformative of power. Indeed, spouses that exhibited high levels of political consciousness identified at the same time sectarianism as an oppressive system to which they intended to subvert with their act of civil marriage. Further, politically-conscious-civilly married spouses demonstrated intersectional subversion not only to sectarianism, but also to other oppressing systems such as patriarchy, kinship or social classes. Ultimately, they contested sectarianism in a non-excluive fashion when it came to their choice of marriage. Finally, resistance, as a reflection of power, is never pure. That is, even self-conscious and self-reflexive individuals that contest sectarianism or other systems of powers do it while embedded in the same structures of power. Confronting one form of power in one context does not mean that they will confront the same form of power in another context.
Supervisor: Gallois, William Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: civil marriage ; lebanon; resistance ; sectarianism ; political identities ; social change