Abstract

This article draws on a year of fieldwork conducted in Lebanon to highlight the paradoxical entanglement of power with romantic love in Lebanon, evident in the intricate gendered, aged, classed, and sect-related negotiations that accompany courtship periods. In addition, the article highlights the inclusive and relational qualities that external kin relations conduce. Kin approval ought not be seen as either/or divisive/conditional. For many of the couples interviewed, kin relations constitute an arena in which they can disseminate their affective bond. Such analysis is threefold. In addition to embracing the multiple subjectivity of the interlocutors, it moves beyond the standard political-economic approach that generally informs marriage studies in the Middle East and dismantles monolithic perceptions of Middle Eastern kin networks.

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