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Bujra, A. S. (1965) Social stratification of an Arab village in Hadramaut. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The theme of the thesis centres around the system of social stratification of Hureidah. I give a general description of the system as it operates in the village and then show how the processes of change in the country and outside, are affecting the situation in Hureidah. Hadramaut, sometimes aptly referred to as "madinat al-muhadjirin" (the country of the emigrants) has as a basic feature, a constant economic crisis in producing enough food for its population. As a result, migration and emigration have been going on since time immemorial. The country has thus never been isolated and its overseas ties have always played a major, if not dominating, role in the country. The Qu'aity Sultanate which was created by Hadramis based in Hyderabad (India) is a crowning example of this. Recently, this 'overseas' dependence has, if anything, increased. But world wide changes have shifted this dependence from India and the Far East, to the neighbouring Arab countries, thus incorporating Hadramaut in the wider processes taking place in the Arab World. This is to say, the history of Hadrami society has been shaped considerably by its ties with India and the Far East, while the present social organisation is being dramatically affected by its participation in the wider field of the Arab society. Social stratification is a dominant feature in Hadrami society. In studying its operation in Hureidah, one cannot isolate the village in space or in time. The people "commute" constantly between Hureidah and the surrounding countries, ignoring geographical (physical) and political boundaries. Similarly, the Far Eastern 'Alawi-Irshadi conflict of the past, the Pan-Arab Nationalism of the present, and the 'coming Revolution' of the future, all influence the social life as it exists. Thus my analysis of the historical conflict, the continuing process of migration, and the political forces operating at different levels (in the country and outside), is essential in understanding the processes behind the formal social hierarchy of present day Hureidah.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:23

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