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Research Papers on Lila Abu-Lughod

Anthropology research papers can focus on famous anthropologists like Egypt's Lila Abu-Lughod. Have our writers custom write her biography or focus on discoveries she has made that have contributed to the field of anthropology.

In 1978, Lila Abu-Lughod set out to do an anthropological study of a Bedouin community, Awlad ‘Ali, in Egypt. The result of this anthropological study was her dissertation and the present book being reported on, Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society, published in 1986. Up until that time, male anthropologists had done most of the anthropologists studies of Bedouin culture. References had been made to the use of poetry in the lives of Bedouin peoples, but superficially and primarily as it related to males. As a trained anthropologist, Ms. Abu-Lughod set out to investigate, “the relationship between Awlad ‘Ali sentiments and experiences and the contradictory discourses that express and inform them; a genre of and lyric poetry of love and vulnerability on the one hand and the ideology in ordinary conversation and everyday behavior on the other.”

Lila Abu-LughodMs. Abu-Lughod is at first put-off when her father of Arab heritage, insists on traveling with her to begin her study. As she, and I as her reader, later learns, it is his insistence on introducing her into this Arabic society, which facilitates her ability to properly enter into the Bedouin culture, as a woman. Ms. Abu-Lughod describes the foundations of identity in the Awlad ‘Ali society, according to the following:

  • Gender
  • Bloodline
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Personal carriage

As the primary anthropologists that had preceded Abu-Lughod were men, their view of the society was primarily through the male experience, as they had very little access to women. The male anthropologists had observed, primarily, the poetry of honor and bravado that are given at feasts and others displays. Yet, it struck Abu-Lughod and others that the tone and texts of much of the poetry coming from Bedouin society crossed the usual boundaries of what is considered polite and proper in the society.

Approximately 1% of Egypt’s inhabitants are of Bedouin ancestry. Most live in rural areas or small towns, according to Abu-Lughod. As a result, Abu-Lughod’s study of the Bedouin takes place in a rural Egyptian area, known as Awlad ‘Ali. As a minority, the Bedouin had a strong sense of identity as a group, and often used their own cultural standards to morally judge the Egyptians.

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