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Introduction: Why Mothers And Daughters?

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Chapter Summary

The ethnographic literature on the Arab world is almost unanimous in pointing out that the family, rather than the individual, is the fundamental unit of production and social organization. The centrality of the family in Arab societies, different as they are both from each other and internally, has been a topic of critical debate among Arab and Western scholars. The paramount importance of the family and family life in Arab culture is reflected in the rich vocabulary of kinship terms that exists in the Arabic language. The traditional Arab family has been described as extended, patrilineal, patrilocal, patriarchal, endogamous, and occasionally polygamous. While some issues in the dynamics between mothers and daughters in Arab families are common to this relationship the world over, others are specific to Arab culture.

Keywords:Arab culture; Arab scholars; Arab societies; Arab world; Arabic language



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