By Suzanne E. Joseph
"Provides wealthy new ethnographic fabric on a little-known inhabitants, the Bedouin of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. It positions such marginal populations within the broader theoretical context of modernization and well-being and demographic transitions."--Allan G. Hill, Harvard college
With an ordinary of over 9 youngsters according to family members, older cohorts of Bedouin within the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon have one of many optimum fertility premiums on the planet. Many married during this pastoral group are shut relatives--a socially useful perform that displays the deep price Bedouins position on kinship.
To outsiders, such family members norms can appear irritating, even premodern. They allure assumptions of Arab "backwardness," poverty, and sexism. Remarkably, Fertile Bonds flips those stereotypes. Anthropological demographer Suzanne Joseph indicates that during this actual team, prolific delivery charges coincide with reasonable demise charges and excessive degrees of nutrients. regardless of broader type variations among Bedouins and peasants, individuals of Bekaa Bedouin society count seriously on kinship ties, sharing, and reciprocity and event a excessive measure of social and demographic equality.
This tale, unusual to many, is person who is fading as conventional nomadic livelihoods cave in to encapsulation in the kingdom. With the aid of this awesome, nuanced study--one of the 1st of its variety within the heart East--knowledge of such marginalized pastoral teams won't vanish with the disappearance in their lifestyle. Joseph's e-book expands our knowing of peoples a long way faraway from consolidated executive keep an eye on and offers a vast analytical lens during which to check demographic divides around the globe.
Suzanne E. Joseph is affiliate professor of anthropology at Zayed college, Abu Dhabi.
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Extra resources for Fertile Bonds: Bedouin Class, Kinship, and Gender in the Bekaa Valley
The rest of Syria was divided into five semiautonomous ter- 27 28 Fertile Bonds ritories designed to bolster French power by exploiting sectarian divisions within the country. In 1932, slightly over a decade after the new nation of Lebanon was formed, French colonial officials conducted a census—the results of which were later used to establish Lebanon’s confessional system of government and citizenship. Most Bedouins were not registered in the census (which until today remains the last official census to be undertaken in Lebanon).
The proportion of women in the younger and older generations married to their first cousins is virtually unchanged— comprising almost two-fifths of all unions (see chapter 5). It is within these relatively stable parameters of marriage that we see some historical upward and later downward movement in fertility. Nomadic Lives in Transition Bedouin fertility decline is part of an adjustment to economic adversity. The latter can be seen in the growing proportion of Bedouin families employed in wage labor, the broader downward trend of the national economy since the late 1980s, and the rising costs of modern sedentary life (in terms of childrearing, work-related expenses, housing, and transportation).
Occasional return visits for cross-checking and follow-up of participant responses were also required. Age estimation and dating of births/deaths proved to be more difficult among older women. 38 Direct reproductive histories were collected in 2000–2001 from a systematic random sample of 240 ever-married Bedouin women between the ages of fifteen and fifty-four residing in the Bekaa Valley. Reproductive histories were also completed with 108 of the women’s spouses. 39 In addition, reproductive histories provide information on marital histories of individuals (separation, divorce, or widowhood) and local marriage systems (patriparallel cousin marriage, exchange marriage, and polygyny).