Aden, the former capital of the only Marxist republic in the Arab world,
has come back to the headlines as the scene of a popular uprising
against the tribal-military rule of present-day Yemen. Tracing the social
and political history of Aden since the late colonial era, Dahlgren
explores the evolving ways in which the society has been established
in a tension between contesting normative orders. She offers a complex
picture of Adeni society in which norms for morality and propriety vary
according to the context of the social space. Documenting a nuanced
social flexibility, Dahlgren stresses individual agency and power to maneuver
within a traditional patriarchal Muslim community.
As a resident of Aden for more than three years spanning the late
years of Marxist South Yemen, Dahlgren presents the reader with an intimate
portrait of Yemeni men and women in the home, in the factory, in
the office, and in the street, demonstrating that Islamic societies must be
understood through a multiplicity of social spheres and morality orders.
Within each space, she examines the range of legal, political, religious,
and social regulations that frame gender relations and social dynamics.
Highlighting the diversity of women’s and men’s positions as a continuum
rather than as distinct areas, Dahlgren presents a vivid picture of this
dynamic society, providing an in-depth background to today’s political
upheavals in Yemen.
View other books in the series Gender, Culture, and Politics
in the Middle East
Susanne Dahlgren is an Academy of Finland research fellow at the
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. She has published numerous
articles on the legal history in Yemen and on notions of Islam, morality,
sexuality, and the urban space.
6 x 9, 360 pages, 22 black-and-white illustrations,
2 maps, 3 tables, appendixes, glossary, notes,