KINSHIP, STRATIFICATION, AND MOBILITY: SOCIAL CHANGE IN A YEMENI HIGHLANDS TOWN
This is a description and analysis of social change in the market town of 'Amran, located in the tribal highlands of the Yemen Arab Republic. 'Amran and the rest of North Yemen was largely isolated from western influence until the 1962 coup d'etat which overthrew the Zaydi imamate. The growth of a market economy in the post-revolution era has had a significant impact on 'Amrani social organization.^ 'Amrani describe themselves in terms of a formal, ascriptive hierarchy. While this formal model remains central to 'Amrani ideology, deviation from its prescriptions are increasingly common. This is related to economic development and concomitant expanding opportunities for status manipulation.^ In Part I a description of current daily life is juxtaposed with a reconstruction of the town's history. The three major social strata, and the social institutions associated with each are introduced.^ Part II describes and analyzes political organization, economic organization, and kinship and marriage. These are presented in terms of 'Amrani formal ideology, then in terms of actual past and present social practice.^ The issue of 'Amrani status assessment is addressed in light of economic and political change. The decreased importance of the tribe and tribal alliances along with the growth and partial destigmatization of the market have served to complicate the status question. The ascriptive model had been weakened but is far from dead. It is shown that 'Amranis utilize old and new criteria of status selectively and strategically. ^
THOMAS BRUCE STEVENSON,
"KINSHIP, STRATIFICATION, AND MOBILITY: SOCIAL CHANGE IN A YEMENI HIGHLANDS TOWN"
(January 1, 1981).
ETD Collection for Wayne State University.