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People, Land and Water in the Arab Middle East: Environments and Landscapes in the Bilad ash-Sham

Edited By: William Lancaster and Fidelity Lancaster

458 pages, no illustrations

Gordon & Breach

Hardback | Dec 1999 | #82823 | ISBN: 9057023229
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £85.00 $107/€101 approx

About this book

The result of 25 years of research with different tribal groups in the Arabian peninsula, this study focuses on ethnographic description of Arab tribal societies in five regions of the peninsula, with comparative material from others. Having become aware of the depth in time of Arab tribal structures, the authors have developed a view of Arabic tribal discourse where "tribe" is seen as essentially an identity that confers access to a social structure and its processes. This insight enables the authors to clarify tribal processes of land use and resource management which are normally "invisible," as they leave few written records and the archaeological remains are notoriously difficult to date. The contextual nature of description by local users leads to a reevaluation of social categories, and to an awareness of relationships between bedouin and peasant, tribesman and townsman. A detailed appreciation of the different agricultural, pastoral and fishing practices of the region is presented, together with the underpinning of indigenous theories of land use and resource management. This detailed monograph incorporates many theoretical aspects, including concepts of indigenous theories; scarce resources; ownership, living, use and access; the relationship between society and animals; the nature of political power; the "boom and bust" economy of herding; ideas about labour and investment for production and distribution; and ideas about towns and villages.


Contents

Aims and arguments; methods of working; framework to social practice; environments, landscapes and nature; water; land use; the practices of production systems using land as a primary resource; buildings and other structures; productivity, distribution and consumption; integration into modernity.

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