This picture manifests an interrelationship between Jordan, a Jordanian identity, and its relationship with larger global phenomena. It describes cultural traditions and world views, as well as significant historical experiences, amongst the Jordanian people and in Jordan. While analyzing this photo, two elements came to mind. The first was the concept of being a woman in Jordan, and the second was economics, capital, and production.
Being a woman in Jordan is difficult, at times, in regards to societal gender norms. While educational participation is more widely accepted for woman, societal participation is still scarce and inequalities still exist. This notion of gender roles is what sparked my interest about the woman in the photo. I was curious if the photo held significance because it was a woman, rather than a man. Generally, arts- creativity and expression- are left to the females. They are generally said to “stay in the house” to cook, clean, sew, and, as I now know, create pottery. Men are the ones who generally ‘go out’ to work. They trade goods, participate in the work force, and provide for their families. The woman are constrained by gender biases and restrictive social norms. In the photo, if it was a man, this would challenge the gender roles in Jordan, yet because it isn’t, the photo appears normal, as though society is used of seeing woman crafting at home.
In Jordan, ordinarily the men are the financial providers for the family. Woman, generally, feel as though it is more viable, financially, to stay at home. The notion that the woman stay at home and the men work has been a driving factor to run simple businesses at home. Woman have small crafts and trades, but these are usually the extent of woman participating in the economy in Jordan. The notion of home business, then, has a negative impact on the Jordanian economy, as the activities and goods aren’t taxable. The male dominated workforce and the notion that a woman’s place is in the home is a driving factor steering woman from participating in the official economy. When looking at this photo, I could’t help but contemplate if this woman was creating these pieces as a form of work, or if she was doing this for fun as a hobby.
Before taking the class, Jordan’s Cultural Mosaic, I didn’t have knowledge about Jordan as a geographical location, the people, the country, the economy, etc. The picture alone conveys two key elements we learned about throughout the semester – culture and economy. Now, I have a better grasp on ‘some things Jordan.’