Second Simple Quiz - AJ Thaler TA Bryce Mangelson Second Simple Quiz In Elizabeth Ferneas Guests of the Sheik An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village women

Second Simple Quiz - AJ Thaler TA Bryce Mangelson Second...

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AJ Thaler, TA: Bryce Mangelson, Second Simple Quiz, 11/24/2014In Elizabeth Fernea’s Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village,women, the family of the sheik, and the gypsies are all groups that play a specific role within their respective society. Through learning what binds these groups together, and how they function within their roles, Fernea is able to create relationships with members of these groups. Although these groups are separated by ideological barriers, the interactions they have with, and influencesthat they have on each other, and on society as a whole, are significant.The women of El Nahra is the group with which Fernea explores with the most depth. In her attempts to assimilate with cultural norms in this mostly Shi’ite village, Fernea begins by adopting the practice of wearing the abayah. This action, which helps to remove Fernea from the spotlight and the focus of curious eyes, allows a greater look into what it is that binds the womenof El Nahra together. As a Muslim village in Iraq, many cultural practices and social functions are determined by Muslim doctrine and tradition. For example, the wearing of the abayah, which Fernea takes up, is Muslim women’s application of principles of modesty. It is generally accepted, and expected, that allwomen in El Nahra wear the abayah when outside the home, as ithelps to protect women from the harassment of men, and does not encourage men’s immoral thoughts. As a whole, the village women with whom Fernea associates are bound together partly by a common belief system – one that revolves around Muslim doctrine, culture, and tradition. This sort of bonding, which is based upon a common ideology, is what Emile Durkheim described as “mechanical solidarity,” which is based upon “a common ideology or worldview, in conjunction with a common morality” (Crandall, 11). Islam, regardless of the truth behind its claims, forms a sort of mechanical solidarity for these women, and “creates a deeply felt sense ofsolidarity based on a common ideology” (12). This collective conscience helps to bind together
AJ Thaler, TA: Bryce Mangelson, Second Simple Quiz, 11/24/2014the women El Nahra and to form the social interactions within the village women, and between the women and other groups of people.A shared religious and cultural belief system, however, is not the only thing bonding together the women of El Nahra. In addition to this example of mechanical solidarity, these women are also bound together by specializations within their own group. There are many different roles of women within this group, including embroiderers, weavers, and teachers. This type of solidarity, which Durkheim identified as “organic,” although not as binding within the women of El Nahra, still plays an important role in the group, as itallows for specialization of roles. Durkheim argued that “organic solidarity could only exists if members of an organic

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