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Illinois Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change


The study analyzes the ever present traditional notions of patriarchy in Jordan, and the contexts by which they are surviving in the milieu of democratization. By way of 12 interviews with academics, legal professionals, judges, and tribal sheikhs, it specifically looks to legislation, concepts of honor, and gender notions as exemplified by the traditional exercise of honor killings in Jordan. The conclusion of this research critically assesses that, despite a wealth of political rhetoric promising the ideals of egalitarianism, Jordan still harbors a patriarchal society that does not apply benefits of equality (especially sexual equality) to all of its citizens (especially women in traditional areas of the country). Furthermore, the study conducts a survey which examines the influence of higher education (in the College of Law at the University of Jordan) on the cultural mindset which perpetuates these crimes in traditional societies. The survey analyzed 39 students from a fourth year level class at the university and 35 students who had not yet completed an introductory level class in the college of law. The researcher examined nineteen pertinent questions which inspect notions of gender equality and sentiments surrounding family honor and mitigation legislation with reference to honor killings. After conducting two tailed, independent t tests and crosstabulational analyses on all nineteen questions, it seemed only one question retained a significant difference between the answers of the introductory and advanced courses which would support a hypothesis stating education is changing students’ mindsets. Thus, despite literature and public discourse from academics, political leaders, and human rights activists which advocates the use of education to steer social change, the results of a survey at the University of Jordan do not reveal any significant difference in introductory level and advanced level students’ traditional notions of gender equality and family honor.


Criminology | Sociology

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Criminology Commons


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