Migration, Labor and Business in the Worlding Cities of the Arabian Peninsula

Document Type

Presentation or Lecture

Publication Date


Conference or Event

IDE-JETRO International Symposium in Tokyo, Japan


Sociology & Anthropology


In this paper, I present several summary points intended to illuminate some of the practices, norms and relations that characterize the contemporary Arab Gulf states. Those points, or themes, are: history and demography of the Gulf States, development and urban development, migrants and migration to Arabia, and imagineers and the relations of business. These points are not intended as a comprehensive portrait of Gulf societies, but rather a series of highlights and noteworthy aspects distilled from more than a decade of ethnographic research on the Arabian peninsula. While the central focus of my own research has long been the transnational flow of labor migrants to the Arabian Peninsula, it has also periodically included projects focused on the states and societies that host these migrant populations. What I present here incorporates those broader interests.

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