Review of “Social change in Syria Family, Village and Political Party

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review


Before the eruption of the Syrian uprising in 2011, much of the underlying nature of Syrian society was something of a ‘black box’ to Anglophone readers, given how closed and secretive the authoritarian regimes of Hafez and Bashar al-Assad have been. Therefore, Dr Sulayman Khalaf's book Social Change in Syria: Family, Village and Political Party is one of the rare excellent ethnographies on Syrian villages produced after the Ba'th Party came to power in 1963. This book was published in 2020 but builds on a PhD dissertation in the field of social anthropology completed in 1981 at University of California, Los Angeles. In it, Dr Khalaf conducts a micro study of Hawi al-Hawa, a rural village in al-Raqqa, Northern Syria and attempts to capture the dynamics of ‘change and the dialectic relationship between micro-macro levels of economic and social and political transformations’ (p.xii).
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Levant
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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