A Tale of three cities : urban culture and social change in the Palestinian West Bank
Based on survey data of adolescents and parents from three major Palestinian cities, this article is a contribution to an ongoing debate on urban Arab culture and social change in the Middle East. Starting with a critical review of scholarly articles on the three West Bank cities of Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah, we draw on evolutionary concepts of change from below, assuming varieties of urban modernization instead of global convergence of city cultures. In adopting a comparative approach, we argue that social transformation does not follow an overall pattern of global urbanization, but is locally configured by contradictions inherent to historically grown concepts of gender relations, patriarchal control, openness for difference, democratic liberties, secularism and Islamism. Our findings should help to understand how social and cultural change unfolds along varying paths of transition between tradition and modernity and is driven by intergenerational encounters and interurban exchange.
change from below
300: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie