This is a study of intermarriage-defined as marriage across ethnic, linguistic, religious, racial, or national boundaries-and its relationship with globalisation. Using a case study of intermarriage between Muslims and Christian Palestinians in the West Bank today, Abe Ata looks at the merging of the two communities on the personal and societal levels, examining religious conversion, dress code, the upbringing of children, national aspirations and the complex issues of identity that arise in multicultural contexts. Combining statistical evaluation and description the author deals with variables which determine the rising rates of intermarriage, and factors that influence the decision to intermarry including size and cohesion of the community, social distance, cultural and political circumstances, racial attitudes, and the acceptability of such marriages in the eyes of community leaders. In examining trends in Christian-Muslim marriages, the author takes them beyond the social and religious contexts in which they arise and examines their future implications for the wider Palestinian society. The book identifies the enrichments and complications of family dynamics in mixed West Bank households, with findings that are readily generalized to other parts of the world.
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Abe Ata received a Ph.D from the University of Melbourne, where he is currently a research associate. He is the author of The West Bank Palestinian Family, published by Kegan Paul International.
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