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ERIC Number: EJ982096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1052-0147
Women and Wasta: The Use of Focus Groups for Understanding Social Capital and Middle Eastern Women
Bailey, Deborah C.
Qualitative Report, v17 Article 65 2012
Social capital is the use of informal networking to secure access to resources and opportunities. Often identified as an asset for offsetting deficiencies in societies, research on the phenomena is limited. This paper describes a qualitative study using focus groups with young adult Emeriti women representing three social-economic groups who were interviewed by the author in order to explore the topic of social capital, specifically a form of social capital defined by the Arabic term "wasta". The women discussed their experiences of how wasta persists regardless of social and religious laws forbidding its practice and how they might use it in their own futures. The focus groups had notable differences in their perceptions of wasta, but as women, they did not see themselves as having access to this form of social capital. The study findings indicate that for these participants wasta is perceived as a cultural paradox that intersects with gender and class as a social construction that reinforces patriarchal and class privilege. (Contains 1 table and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Arab Emirates