Advertisement

Being a Girl in a Polygamous Family Implications and Challenges

  • Nuzha Allassad AlhuzailEmail author
Article

Abstract

Polygamous marriages are widespread and accepted among Israel’s Bedouin-Arabs. Yet despite polygamy’s many effects on family members, there is almost no research on the experience of adolescents in these families and the effects of the second marriage on their relationship with the father. The current study is a pioneering effort to shed light on the feelings of severe injury among adolescent girls whose fathers have taken a second wife. Thirty in-depth interviews were conducted in 2016 and 2018 with participants ages 18–22, and the data underwent a qualitative thematic analysis. The findings shed light on parent–child relations in the context of marriage, separation, and family reconstitution. They highlight situations of family conflict that generate stress for family members. Three coping patterns of the adolescent girls are identified, offering a glimpse of how a generation of young women in patriarchal traditional societies may begin to challenge longstanding and widely accepted practices and ideas regarding the family. Interventions are proposed at the macro, mezzo, and micro levels.

Keywords

Bedouin-Arab Polygamy Adolescent girls Parent–child relations Traditional society 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study received no specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

References

  1. Abu-Rabia-Queder, S. (2007). Coping with ‘forbidden love’ and loveless marriage: Educated Bedouin women from the Negev. Ethnography, 8, 297–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Krenawi, A. (1998). Family therapy with a multiparental/multispousal family. Family Process, 37, 65–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Krenawi, A. (2014). Psychosocial impact of polygamy in the Middle East. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Krenawi, A., Graham, J. R., & Al Gharaibeh, F. (2011). A comparison study of psychological, family function marital and life satisfactions of polygamous and monogamous women in Jordan. Community Mental Health Journal, 47(5), 594–602.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Krenawi, A., & Jackson, S. (2015). Dilemmas in practicing social work with indigenous people: The Arab case. International Journal of Child Health and Human Development, 8, 115–131.Google Scholar
  6. Al-Krenawi, A., & Slonim-Nevo, V. (2008). Psycho-social and familial functioning of children from polygamous and monogamous families. Journal of Social Psychology, 148, 745–764.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Al-Krenawi, A., Slonim-Nevo, V., & Graham, J. (2006). Polygyny and its impact on the psychosocial wellbeing of husbands. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 37, 173–189.Google Scholar
  8. Allassad Alhuzail, N. (2009). The significance of change in the lives of three generations of Bedouin women. (Doctoral thesis, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel). [Hebrew]Google Scholar
  9. Allassad Alhuzail, N. (2013). The double meaning of protection in the lives of Bedouin women. Social Issues in Israel: A Sociology Journal, 15, 58–86. [Hebrew].Google Scholar
  10. Allassad Alhuzail, N. (2014). “The blessing” in the lives of three generations of Bedouin women. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 29, 30–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 31, 77–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Dinero, S. C. (2012). Neo-polygamous activity among the Bedouin of the Negev, Israel: Dysfunction, adaptation or both? Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 43, 495–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Daoud, N., O'Campo, P., Minh, A., Urquia, M. L., Dzakpasu, S., Heaman M., … Chalmers, B. (2014). Patterns of social inequalities across pregnancy and birth outcomes: A comparison of individual and neighborhood socioeconomic measures. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth, 14, 393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dwairy, M. (1998). Cross cultural counseling: The Arab Palestinian Case. New York: Haworth Press.Google Scholar
  16. Elbedour, S., Onwuegbuzie, A., & Alatamin, M. (2003). Behavioral problems and scholastic achievement among Bedouin-Arab children from polygamous and monogamous marital family structures: Some developmental considerations [Monograph]. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, 129, 213–237.Google Scholar
  17. Greenberg, L., & Johnson, S. (2010). Emotionally focused therapy for couples. Toronto: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Gribiea, A., & Abu-Saad, I. (2017). New mass communication media and the identity of Negev Bedouin Arab youth in Israel: In conversation with Edward Said. Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies, 16, 99–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kaplan, H., & Madjar, N. (2015). Autonomous motivation and pro-environmental behaviors among Bedouin-Arab students in Israel: A self-determination theory perspective. Australian Journal of Environmental Education, 31, 223–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Khasawneh, O., Hijazi, A. H. Y., & Salman, N. H. (2011). Polygamy and its impact on the upbringing of children: A Jordanian perspective. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 42, 563–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lazarus, R. S. (1993). Coping theory and research: Past, present and future. Psychosomatic Medicine, 55, 234–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lev-Wiesel, R., & Al-Krenawi, A. (2000). Perception of family among Bedouin-Arab children of polygamous families as reflected in their family drawings. American Journal of Art Therapy, 38, 98–106.Google Scholar
  23. Lieblich, A., Tuval-Mashiach, R., & Zilber, T. (1998). Narrative research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Marey-Sarwan, I., Roer-Strier, D., & Otto, H. (2018). Contextualizing risk and protection: Perceptions of Bedouin mothers from unrecognized villages in the Naqab. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 88, 306–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Marshall, S. E., & Read, J. G. (2003). Identity politics among Arab-American women. Social Science Quarterly, 84, 875–891.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meir, A. (1997). As nomadism ends: The Israeli Bedouin of the Negev. New York: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  27. Morse, J. M., Barrett, M., Mayan, M., Olson, K., & Spiers, J. (2002). Verification strategies for establishing reliability and validity in qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1, 13–22.  https://doi.org/10.1177/160940690200100202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nasasra, M. (2012). The ongoing Judaisation of the Naqab and the struggle for recognizing the indigenous rights of the Arab Bedouin people. Settler Colonial Studies, 12, 81–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Pessate-Schubert, A. (2003). Changing from the margins: Bedouin women and higher education in Israel. Women’s Studies International Forum, 26, 285–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Saar, A. (2006). “Kavya”: Al nashim hazakot ba-hevra ha-palestinit be-yisrael. (Kavya: On strong women in Palestinian society in Israel.) In H. Herzog, T. Kohavi, & S. Zelniker (Eds.), Dorot, merhavim, zehuyot: Mabatim achsavi’im al hevra ve-tarbut be-yisrael (pp. 369–393). (Generations, spaces, identities: Contemporary views of society and culture in Israel.) Jerusalem: The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad. [Hebrew]Google Scholar
  32. Shepard, L. (2013). The impact of polygamy on women’s mental health: A systematic review. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, 22, 47–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shkedi, A. (2003). Words that try to touch: Qualitative research—Theory and practice. Tel Aviv: Ramot. [Hebrew].Google Scholar
  34. Shkedi, A. (2011). The meaning behind the words: Methodologies of qualitative research—Theory and practice. Tel Aviv: Ramot. [Hebrew].Google Scholar
  35. Shohat, E. (1992). Notes on the “post-colonial.” Social Text, Nos. 31/32, Third World and Post-Colonial Issues, 99–113.Google Scholar
  36. Slonim-Nevo, V., & Al-Krenawi, A. (2006). Success and failure among polygamous families: The experience of wives, husbands and children. Family Process, 45, 311–331.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Taylor, S. E. (1999). Health psychology (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  39. Treister-Goltzman, Y., & Peleg, R. (2014). Health and morbidity among Bedouin women in southern Israel: A descriptive literature review of the past two decades. Journal of Community Health, 29, 819–825.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tutty, L. M., Rothery, M. A., & Grinnell, R. M. (1996). Qualitative research for social workers. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  41. Wetchler, J., & Piercy, F. (2011). Transgenerational family therapies. In F. Piercy, D. Sprenkle, & J. Wetchler (Eds.), Family therapy sourcebook (pp. 25–49). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social WorkSapir Academic CollegeMobile Post Hof AshkelonIsrael

Personalised recommendations