Opening Old Bottles in Search of New Wine: The Story of Imperial Modernity in Qatar with Special Reference to Gender Inequality, 1980-1994

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Vincent Lyon-Callo

Second Advisor

Dr. Douglas V. Davidson

Third Advisor

Dr. Donald F. Cooney

Fourth Advisor

Social change, modernization and modernity, Qatar, women status, gender inequality

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Abstract Only

Restricted to Campus until



The purpose of this study was to examine to what extent the economic changes that resulted from the discovery of oil and its subsequent exportation influenced, positively or negatively, the status of women in Qatar. The modernization perspective was used to approach and assess the process of social change in Qatar, in an effort to track and measure its growth and development. This study was mainly concerned with the process of social change that took place in Qatar. The focus of the study, however, was on gender inequality as a serious human issue directly related to the process of social and cultural change. For this purpose, a theoretical review was provided for many concepts related to and associated with social change. These concepts include mainly modernization, modernity, and postmodernity. The study then tracked their echoes in Qatar with reference to women’s status as a cultural issue located in the heart of social change process. The research showed that the process of social change in Qatar has not grown from within and at the hand of indigenous. Rather, it was brought about by outsiders and imposed in an imperial context. This has resulted in full contradictions and an incomplete modernization. Gender inequality resulted as an example of these contradictions as it relates to the essence of traditional culture, which could not be eroded or silenced.

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