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Tradition, modernity and gender in the Arab home: a study from Tripoli (Libya)


Year published: 2019
Categories: Journal Article

Author / Authors:

  • Seham Elmansuri
  • Barry Goodchild


This socio-spatial study explores the meaning of home in an Arab context in terms of the response of residents to three case study sites that reflect different eras of development and involve different house types- traditional courtyard houses in the Medina and two collective housing estates. Based upon the triadic distinctions of Lefèbvre, a mixed methodology is applied to these case study sites, with relevant information coming from interviews and focus groups with architects and residents, a satisfaction survey and a space syntax analysis. Unlike many previous studies, the interviews and focus groups document the experience and views of female residents. The results highlight the continuing impact of religion and culture on the meaning of the home. The Arab-Libyan home constitutes a family and a feminine ideal, based on gender segregation and female privacy. The traditional courtyard house offers a suitable house type, but not the only possible type that meets the practices and preferences of Arab Libyan families.

Housing Studies, DOI: 10.1080/02673037.2019.1676401


  • Journal Article