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Volume :33 Issue : 127 2007      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Patterns of Mate Selection: A Comparative Study Between the Kuwaiti and the Omani Societies

Auther : Dr. Fahad A. Al Naser - Dr. Suad M. A. Sulaiman

     In most Middle Eastern societies, mate selection operates within rather carefully defined limits. The state of Kuwait & Oman are two of them. The youth, for instance, are expected to marry someone who shares his/her own religion, caste, nationality, age and socio-economic status. This practice is referred to as «assorted mating» or «homogamy».

     In view of the strong influence of the factors listed previously, and the tendency towards heterogamy, the potential for a revolutionary change in the marital habits of Kuwaitis & Omanis do exist. People challenging the traditional homogamous norms and customs assert both the right and the desirability of marriage between persons of different groups. Persons who practice heterogamy would indulg in a deviant behaviour from well-established norms and values of marriage.

     Mate selection patterns have always been a source of change. However, Kuwait & Oman with their recent economic growth have witnessed these patterns changing continuously and rapidly. The reasons for these changes are many and will be discussed further in the study.

     The objective of this paper is to shed light on the different types of mates selection existing in Kuwait & Oman and the new transitional pattern which is fast becoming popular. Furthermore, it will discuss the reasons and causes for the changes and will compare their different kinds.

     A sample (N=600) hailing from the two main universities - Kuwait University (Kuwait) & Sultan Qaboos University (Oman). A standardized questionnaire was administered to the male and female students. SPSS was applied to derive the results through statistical analysis. Results showed that youth from both societies prefer to marry homogamously and both preferred that the selection made through the family show that traditionalism is stronger than the urbanization change.

     This paper will enhance public awareness. It should be interpreted with concern because the study is limited to the Kuwaiti & Omani societies only. Further research is needed to investigate the normative properties more thoroughly. This study will also provide educators as well as sociologists with useful notions regarding mate selection in Kuwait & Oman.

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