Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level





Ted Swedenburg

Committee Member

JoAnn D'Alisera

Second Committee Member

Kristin Erickson


Social sciences, Bedouin, Jordan, Nomads


Change occurs throughout the world on a daily basis, and as a result, its inhabitants are encouraged to change as well. The population learns to adapt in various ways in order to survive, often times causing traditional practices to be forced aside in order to make way for more modern methods. Today, the Bedouin lifestyle is no longer limited to the classification of a pastoral nomad, located in the desert living in goat-hair tents, and herding camels. While there are several factors that could be taken into consideration in order to unpack what it means to be a Bedouin in a modern world, the development of nation-states within the Middle East and the consequences of these formations have had a significant influence on Bedouin tribal identity and lifestyle. In Jordan, the process of deconstructing Bedouin identity and lifestyle can largely be contributed to detribalization, sedentarization, and nationalization. While these governmental projects have contributed to the decline of nomadic traditional culture, Bedouin have not completely disappeared in Jordan. Rather than ask "where have the Bedouin gone?" the better question is "where are the Bedouin going?" particularly in a changing world.