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Volume :1 Issue : 4 1975      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

SOCIAL CHANGE IN THE OCCUPATIONAL STATUS OF FATHERS AND ITS RELATION TO THEIRATTITUDES TOWARDS THEIR SIBLINGS’ FUTURE.. “A Comparative empirical study of Kuwaiti and Bahraini fathers’ occupational mobility and their attitudes towards their siblings” future”.

Auther : Dr. Mahmood Abdel Kader

 
           The traditional social-economic structure in Kuwait and Bahrain was, before the discovery of oil, closely tied to the ecological system.  Economic activities in the two countries were centered around pearl-diving industry, and commercial exchange (travel) with close and distant countries.  Shipbuilding industry and sails-industry were also prosperous.  Bahraini economy was distinct by its dependence relatively on agriculture, especially after the expansion in digging wells during the thirties.  Agriculture in Kuwait was quite limited – it was restricted to Failaka Island and al-Rawdatain area, - due to the absence of any permanent water resource, minimal rain, desert-soil, and extreme heat during the long summer.  It was however, Kuwait had another activity, namely grazing.  These economic activities generated two patterns of traditional social organization: urban versus Bedouin in Kuwait, and urban versus rural in Bahrain.

          Fast social change began in Kuwait, and to a lesser degree in Bahrain, with the production of oil.  This necessitated the importation of foreign labor on a large scale to Kuwait (57% of Kuwait’s total population in 1972), and on a smaller scale to Bahrain (17.5% of total population in 1971).

          The author states that any study of occupational mobility requires a systematic analysis of the occupational stratification system.  Since this is not available for Kuwait and Bahrain, he deduces some principles of occupation stratification from available censuses and labor statistics.  This analysis concentrates on the quality and growth of “national” (non-foreign) labor force.  Available data show that the size of Kuwaiti labor-force lagged behind the development of economic activities, and Kuwait had to import specialized labor to fill these vacancies.  The number of Kuwaitis working age (over 12 years) in 1970 was 199,000 males and females, of whom 59,600 (30%) were actually working.  Out of the rest 46,000 are students and 20,000 are over sixty.  This means that 64,000 Kuwaitis of working age unemployed.  Kuwaitis constituted 25% of the total labor force in Kuwait in 1970.  Kuwaiti females constituted 3.4% of the Kuwaiti (national) labor force.  This means that unemployed Kuwaitis would have every chance to get employment for a long time to come.  It also means that the chances of occupational mobility are wide open to Kuwaitis.

            Bahraini labor force grew by 23% from 19959–1971, while Kuwaiti labor force grew by 100% over the same period.  Kuwaiti labor force is concentrated in services, especially in the public administrative body.  In Bahrain, the growth ration was 30% of the labor force in 11970.  Commercial activity occupied 10% of the labor force in both countries.  Industry (oil and gas, electricity and water, construction) occupied 21% of the Kuwaiti labor force in 1970, compared to 41.5% for Bahrain.  Fishing and agriculture are retreating in both countries.

          Change in the socio-economic structure greatly activated occupational mobility in both countries.  Most of the labor force gave up for good their old professions and sought modern professions, especially in the civil service.

          The author then moved on to study occupational mobility of fathers and their attitudes towards their siblings’ future.  He chose two samples: the Kuwaiti made up of 238 families and the Bahraini made up of 98 families.  He also designed an occupational scale suitable to Kuwaiti and Bahraini economic structures, to measure patterns and degrees of occupational mobility.  He then defined the research problem as: “upward mobility (intergeneration and intrageneration) is accompanied by a change in attitudes towards the educational, occupational, and social future of the siblings.  In other words those who have moved upwards (in regard to themselves or their fathers) tend to have positive attitudes towards their siblings’ future, as compared to those who were static or those who moved downwards”.

          The results of the study showed that the most prevailing form of mobility in Kuwait is intergenerational (those who advanced beyond their fathers) 30% of the sample, followed by intragenerational 25%, followed by those who moved on both levels 10%.  Those who were not mobile at all formed 20% of the sample, and the downwardly mobile formed 16%.  The total upward mobility in the Kuwait sample is high (64%) and this is explained by the vast resources offered to Kuwaitis. The most prevailing pattern of mobility in Bahrain is intragenerational (36%), followed by intergenerational (27%), followed by both patterns together (12%).  The total ration of upward mobility in Bahrain is also high (70%). Static persons make (11%) of the Bahraini sample, and the downwardly mobile make 13%.  But the degree of occupational mobility in Bahrain is very low when compared to Kuwait.

          The author then studied the attitudes of mobile fathers (upwards compared by downwards and static) towards some major traditional social problems, i.e. preferring to have male or female children, education of females, allowing females to work and type of work for them, and proper age for marriage for both sex.  Results showed a directly positive relationship between upward mobility and attitudes towards these social issues, i.e. towards their siblings’ future.  However, some tendencies were not consistent, i.e. position on women’s education and their proper marriage age.

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