This is the online companion for Societies of the Middle East and North Africa: Structures, Vulnerabilities, and Forces, edited by Sean Yom.  There are many textbooks on the Middle East, but this is the only one that squarely focuses upon the social aspects of the region rather than the usual interrogations of high politics, government institutions, and foreign policy.  You can use this work as a standalone volume, or else as a sister volume to Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa, also published by Routledge (which, of course, does deal with high politics, government institutions, and foreign policy!).

As you engage each chapter, consider the historical and cultural context for the peoples inhabiting the Arab world, Israel, Turkey, and Iran. The book’s chapters ascertain the ongoing developmental trajectories of these societies, including their overall stability and prosperity, and introduce issues for consideration that go far beyond global headlines.  Among them are the differences between urban and rural life; civil society and personal identities; the dark side of economic development, including environmental destruction; religiosity in its social and welfarist dimensions; the struggle for gender equality; and the perspectives of youth.  You will find as well that these chapters are full of insightful learning materials, such as case studies, illustrative photographs, visualized data, discussion questions, and annotated bibliographies for further research.  Some of those materials are posted on this website for easier access.

Book Information Complimentary Exam Copy


Each chapter contains discussion questions at the end. Those questions can be used in several ways: to spark discussion within smaller sections; as prompts for homework assignments or essay papers; or as provocative inquiries by which to begin lectures.

Each chapter online also has a streamlined, updated version of the online references found in the written volume. In the printed book, recall that each chapter ends with a “Further Reading” segment with two components: offline scholarship such as journal articles and books; and online links to websites, databases, portals, and other Internet-based resources. While your students may treat the scholarly references as reliable, representing the most well-cited works in each field, the online references may well be outdated given how quickly weblinks change.

For that reason, please instruct your students to utilize this website as a springboard for online sleuthing. Weblinks will be updated periodically, and new online resources and opportunities added in between print editions.

Book Cover