SUAD-CEFREPA Diwan Life Course, City Course; local cosmopolitanism, seen by Youth in Oman

Thursday 25 February 2021
5:00 pm (UAE / Oman time), 2:00 pm (France time)
Online conference

In case you missed it, you can still watch the conference by clicking here

Join Dr. Marion Breteau for a conference on Life Course, City Course: Local Cosmopolitanism, seen by Youth in Oman

The Diwan series is a collaboration with CEFREPA (Centre Français de Recherche de la Péninsule Arabique)

Conference abstract

If  “cosmopolitanism” is a term often employed to describe the major cities of the Arabian Gulf, the Omani capital, is distinguished from them as it rather tends to illustrate a form of “local cosmopolitanism”. Besides the numerically lower presence of foreign populations, the concentration of activities that take place in Muscat makes it a synonym of “promises for the future” for many young people from the interior regions, who come to study and to find their first job afterwards.

Mostly originating from rural areas, young people discover new modes of entertainment and mobility in the city as they experience urbanity. Separated from their families, their newly discovered urban way of life  enriches them with forms of independence they do not enjoy in their hometown, especially for young women. University, that remains the main place they frequent in Muscat, helps them develop sociabilities that interrogate their regional belongings, although these may be reinforced when forming groups of friends who share the same origins. They also discover diversity in terms of ethnicity and religious affiliation, which can also include class-belonging and gender. Indeed, this temporary freedom can lead some young people to experience flirt that sometimes ends with a marriage, a step that becomes a key moment for the expression of local identities.

By observing these different aspects (the studying period, friendships and amorous encounters), this presentation aims at analyzing how regional identities are reformulated through the prism of local cosmopolitanism, addressed as a specific feature of youth in Oman.

Know more about Marion Breteau

Dr. Marion Breteau is an anthropologist affiliated to IDEMEC Laboratory (Aix-en-Provence, France) and CEFREPA (Kuwait/Muscat/Abu Dhabi). She specializes in gender issues, love relationships and youth in the Sultanate of Oman. Her current work focuses on intimacy and domestic space between newly married couples and female domestic workers in Muscat.