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The Emotional Sociability of the Abdoun Circle in Amman Jordan

Leila Bustami PhD (University of Petra, Amman Jordan)

Open House International

ISSN: 0168-2601

Article publication date: 1 March 2015



The Abdoun Circle which is located in the prestigious part of Amman, changes its relationship with its users from that of an ordinary business district during the day to a very popular city night-life spot offering a variety of leisure services, mainly in the form of cafes and restaurants. This study focuses on that phenomenon of dual usage as it mirrors the major social and psychological implications of late modernity in Jordan, and adopts a transactional approach (Altman and Rogoff 1987) to explore and explain its complexity. Information for the study was obtained by observing, interviewing, and listening to a variety of opinions and voices. This process supported the development of the mutual definitions between the behavioural elements and the environmental feature elements of the studied phenomenon. The identified definitions to describe the district at night, which include pleasantness, crowdedness, complexity, variety, novelty, and dominance, in turn supported the development of a range of psychological and social benefits important to the users of the circle (i.e. new aesthetics, modernity, freedom, and opportunities to meet and socialize).

The analysis of additional data about the setting's formal and perceptual properties added the benefits of sociability and democracy, which combined with the previous benefits described, meant that the setting is seen and experienced by people from most age and social ranges, except for those from the upper class, as an outlet for pleasure in these modern times. This clearly indicates that Jordan has yet to experience a transition toward democracy and that these new public spaces, as the Abdoun Circle should be developed throughout the city in order to support the progression towards a socially balanced society.



Bustami, L. (2015), "The Emotional Sociability of the Abdoun Circle in Amman Jordan", Open House International, Vol. 40 No. 1, pp. 18-25.



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