International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 321

Full Length Research Paper

Lived experiences of young Emirati women in the combined family: Extending and rethinking sociological concepts

Mohammed Abdel Karim Al Hourani
  • Mohammed Abdel Karim Al Hourani
  • Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 06 May 2019
  •  Accepted: 21 June 2019
  •  Published: 30 June 2019


Using evidence from 72 young Emirati women experiences who have participated in a series of eleven focus groups, this study rethinks and extends traditional sociological concepts and classifications. This research propose the concept of combined family to show a unique pattern of family relationships and economic participation that exists in some areas of UAE that combines the wealthiest and modernized appearances with the oldest traditions. The results show social determinism versus economic determinism since participants' families have independent access to the economic assets, but they prefer to be around parents and brothers. The concept of circumstantial expectations is proposed to extend the notion of social exchange theory that family members are engaging in exchanges with no future or immediate expectations of returns. Because the concept of bonding social capital did not give a full understanding of the social dynamics in the sociocultural context of UAE, it is extended to include two sub-concepts; exclusive social capital and internal-kin social capital.


Key words: Women experiences, Emirati women, Emirate family, family forms.