Urbanizing Intimacy: The Effect of Urbanization on Marriage, Dating, and Sexuality in Twenty-First Century Amman
Adely, Fida J
This thesis establishes a framework for understanding contemporary dating habits, marriage trends, and sexual behaviors among a sample of youth in Amman, and the factors that have facilitated and influenced this change. Capturing contemporary social trends and habits requires a nuanced approach dependent upon multiple narratives. I accomplish this through the use of the ethnographic life interview. The narratives recorded enable us to capture the scope of the on-ground changes to marriage, dating, and sexuality in twenty-first century Amman. This thesis asks two questions: 1) How do both young men and women in “west Amman” adapt to social changes regarding dating and marriage and 2) what are the current perspectives on sexuality? This thesis attempts to understand how youth today negotiate the traditional societal values of previous generations within the current era of rapid urbanization and economic challenges. My work unpacks the trends that have emerged, arguing that the marriage crisis lies within youth unemployment and low wages, as my interlocutors point out. Moreover, this thesis lays out a foundation for understanding today’s dating trends in Amman and how they have been influenced by a milieu of urban, economic, and social change that rattle the internal fabric of society. Finally, I maintain throughout the thesis, that the level of exposure to urbanization, neoliberal urban public spaces, social media platforms, and socioeconomic background, determine and shape an individual’s moral negotiations and lifestyle regarding dating, marriage, and sexuality.
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