Daughters of Tunis

Women, Family, and Networks in a Muslim City


Paula Holmes-Eber

First Edition • August 1, 2002 • 192 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813339443 • $36.00 USD$56.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780786749102 • $22.99 USD$26.99 CAN

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Daughters of Tunis is an innovative ethnography that carefully weaves the words and intimate, personal stories of four Tunisian women and their families with a statistical analysis of women’s survival strategies in a rapidly urbanizing, industrializing Muslim nation. Delineating three distinct network strategies, Holmes-Eber demonstrates the “public” role of neighborhoods as informal social security systems, and the impact of women’s education, class and migration on women’s resources and networks. An engaging, warm, and oftentimes humorous portrait of Muslim women’s responses to development, Daughters of Tunis is an exciting new approach to ethnography: merging the historically disparate methods of both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

Paula Holmes-Eber is a visiting scholar in Middle East Studies and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and was formerly an assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has taught courses in peoples and cultures of the Islamic Middle East, gender and family in the Middle East, and women and development, among other courses.

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“Holmes-Elber’s meticulous ethnographic research and the way in which she relates her study to the recent debates in anthropology makes Daughters of Tunis significant not only to Middle Eastern Studies but for social sciences in general.”
— AFA Book Review

“Holmes-Eber has chosen a style of representation that most closely mirrors and animates the nature of the subject matter. The book is valuable and unique in its presentation of the intricacies and difficulties of the ethnographic process, integrating qualitative, as well as quantitative, methodology and data.”
— The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology

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