2014: Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 51-68

The ‘Asabiyya-Driven Structuration of 
Women’s Breast Cancer in the Arab Region

Arwa Luqman



The Arab region witnesses more than 60% of reported breast cancer cases detected at a late stage, stage III or higher. Establishing a well-founded regional network ensures maximum impact in regards to the implementation and success of preventative and early detection measures. This paper explores and evaluates the ‘asabiyya-driven structuration—the cohesive force of the group that gives it strength in facing its struggles for progressive reproduction—of influential agents for breast cancer prevention and early detection in the Arab region. The layers of the philosophical standing from Ibn Khaldûn’s concept of ‘asabiyya and the theoretical foundation of social systems theory, structuration theory, social network analysis, and social capital theory are peeled in order to explore and evaluate the context, constraints, social networks, autopoiesis, and social capital. Utilizing a qualitative research design, this study employs content analysis and in-depth interviews as data collection methods and NVivo as an analysis tool. Data is collected from 122 publications and knowledgeable informants employed by cancer agents, ministries of health, and World Health Organization offices in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Oman. Findings reveal that countries with a national cancer control program witness local strengthening ‘asabiyya and ‘asabiyya-driven structuration, while those without a national cancer control program witness weakening local ‘asabiyya. Thus, strategic recommendations are proposed to accelerate the regional ‘asabiyya-driven structuration for preventative and early detection measures.


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