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Social change and rural development in a North Iraqi village: a study of the role of the government and popular organisations, 1958 - 1981


This thesis seeks to combine sociological and cultural aspects in an account of the major processes of social, political and economic change in the Ash-Shag village in Iraq, together with an analysis of the impact of rural development on villagers. The first part focusses on the theorectical apsects of the study of rural development in a village situation, which are germane to the general social, political and economic developments. A review of the environment and population of the village is also given. The second part traces the transformation from Bedouin society into forms of peasant villages in the countryside, with special reference to the Az-Zab region of Iraq.
I examine the main social and economic organisations in the village and their influence upon village life. This part also describes the social structure of a village and notes the gradual decline of the tribal system, the influence of which still affects the social behaviour of villagers. I also discuss the agrarian reform laws and the effect of this upon land tenure, irrigation systems, and the way in which people make a living.
In the third part I examine, in detail, the political and administrative systems, explaining the development of administration, education, health and the general infrastructure; also the operation of both political and religious organisations. In order to examine rural development and cultural change, on the individual and village levels. I discuss the role of the Government and Popular Organisations and their innovation and intervention, also the changes sought by the new ideology within the operation of village life.
In this thesis I have been concerned to critically examine both rural development and the attitudes and responses of the villagers. This procedure has allowed me to make general remarks about socio­economic change and as to how policies may be more effectively implemented in the future.

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