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A study of social change in Kuwait with special reference to the status of women

Al-Marzooq, Sabriyah Mohammed (1975) A study of social change in Kuwait with special reference to the status of women. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis is based on a series of personal interviews conducted in 1971 among 126 girl students of the University of Kuwait and the Teacher Training College, and on a questionnaire handed out to a stratified random sample of 200 Kuwaiti nationals. Whilst the personal interviews were intended to yield information about the educated young women's attitudes towards education, career, marriage and related issues, the questionnaire was designed to supply additional data about the attitudinal and behavioural changes of both old and young Kuwaitis of both sexes in regard to family, religion, politics, and in particular the education and employment of women. The findings were analysed by means of a model of Kuwaiti society which fully recognised the importance of family status. A division into Royal Family, Upper Class Families and Higher and Lower Status Families of the Middle class was proposed. It has been shown that the impact of modem education has caused a considerable rift between the older and the younger generation of Kuwaitis. The responses of the former group have been far more homogeneous and were carried by a concern for the maintenance of the traditional values and mores. Among the young people this decidedly conservative attitude was found to be characteristic only of the respondents from the Upper Class Families, whereas the respondents from the Higher and Lower Status Families appeared to be more open to social and ideological innovation. The most progressive group was composed of those individuals mainly from the Higher Status Families who had received a higher education abroad. In the course of this investigation it has become evident that the Kuwaiti youth has only half-emerged from the traditional patterns of a typical Middle-Eastern society, and that possibly one of the chief impediments to further development is the young men's entirely negative attitude towards female education and employment, with its implicit perpetuation of the segregation of the sexes and insistence on male superiority.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1975
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:30

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