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Volume :15 Issue : 60 2001      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Modernization and Family Structure in Kuwait

Auther : Yaqoub Al-Kandari - Frank E. Poirier

Individuals traditionally prefer to marry those with whom they share tribal, clan, or lineage affiliations. In this paper we examine the effects of modernization and urbanization on family structure in Kuwait. We examine spousal attitudes towards such cultural and social trends as number of children, age of marriage, bride dowry, and age differences.

Consanguineous as well as non-consanguineous marriages are examined on these variables. The confounding factor of educational level is also analyzed.

The 242 couples (484 persons) included in this study were divided into three groups according to marriage type: (1) 200 persons (100 pairs) in first - and double-cousin marriages; (2) 160 persons (80 couples) in second- and less-than-second-cousin marriages; and (3) 124 persons (62 couples) in non-consanguineous marriages.

The SPSS package was used for data analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to examine the data.

Couples in first - and double-cousin marriages or in second- and less-than- second-cousin marriages tend to marry earlier than non-consanguineous couples. There are significant differences among couples in first and double cousin marriage, second cousin marriages and non relatives regarding age at marriage, bride dowry, number of children, and in their attitudes regarding the ideal age of marriage.

Education plays an important role in spouse selection. This may be an indicator of the changes in spousal selection criteria. The data show that the family structure in Kuwait is affected by modernity.

 

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