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Title: The social status of female slaves at the Abbasid Court (132-329 A.H./750-940 A.D.)
Author: Alkandari, M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7962 902X
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2019
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The subject of the position of women has developed considerably over the last few years, expanding on their roles, movements and activities in the medieval and classical periods. Researchers have studied the lives, roles and talents of jawārī, especially in motherhood, singing and poetry; however, little scholarship has been conducted concerning their agency in terms of social status, privilege and prestige. This thesis investigates the social status of Abbasid jawārī through historical analysis in order to examine how the characteristics of enslaved women, such as their origin, education and beauty, could affect their ability to obtain greater social mobility in the Abbasid social hierarchy. The research adopts feminist theories by Gerda Lerner and Fatima Mernissi of patriarchy and gender to determine the effect of male dominance on enslaved women's opportunities for social mobility and the acquisition of improved rank and social standing. By studying historiographical and literary sources in addition to biographical collections, the present thesis presents two subjects of examination in order to evaluate the influence and power of enslaved women regarding their social status. The first is the rivalry between elite and enslaved women in various affairs, including marriage and maternity, sexual desirability and behaviour, the right to education and the nature of schooling, and finally, privilege and wealth. The second compares the significance of the function, privilege and position of male and female slaves. These comparisons comprise our core research question on the status of women, identifying vital roles that played a part in the social mobility of women and their enslavement, rank and status at the Abbasid court and household.
Supervisor: Netton, I. ; Selove, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available