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The Rise of the Egyptian Middle Class
Socio-economic Mobility and Public Discontent from Nasser to Sadat

$105.00 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108474481

$ 105.00 (C)
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  • During the 1970s and early 1980s, Egypt experienced swift economic growth resulting from a regional oil boom. Oddly, this economic growth hardly registered in Egyptian public discourse, which continuously claimed that the country was experiencing multiple economic, social, and cultural crises. This book sets out to investigate this discrepancy and to offer a revisionist history of the period. It documents the massive socio-economic mobility in Egypt by analysing relevant statistical data and ethnographic evidence, indicating the changes in the employment structure and the spread of mass consumption. Relli Shechter further examines a wide array of cultural resources, such as Egyptian academic writing, the press, the cinema, and the literature, in which critics lamented 'what went wrong' in Egypt. By doing so, he offers a local version of a wider Middle Eastern and international story: the global formation of middle-class societies whose members strove for respectable lives with only partial success.

    • Presents a revisionist explanation of the fast expansion of the Egyptian middle class
    • Uses Egypt as a case study to document broader and global social and economic change
    • Examines statistical evidence, as well as accounting for how public commentators explained contemporary transitions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Through a thorough investigation of the socio-economic mobility, employment structure, and the spread of consumption, The Rise of the Egyptian Middle Class lays the foundations for the corrective argument that the oil boom, not Sadat’s open door policies, was the driving force behind the social transformations in Post-Nasser Egypt. With a wealth of statistical data ethnographic evidence, and profound historical analysis, Shechter produced a wonderful and long-awaited contribution to the study of the Egyptian society since President Sadat.' Hanan Hammad, Addran College of Liberal Arts, Texas

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108474481
    • length: 280 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 155 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.58kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Working into the middle class
    3. 'Crisis of supply in every household'
    4. 'Provocative consumption'
    5. 'Parasites'
    6. The resurgence of middle-class Islam
    7. Conclusion: socio-economic mobility and discontent.

  • Author

    Relli Shechter, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
    Relli Shechter is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He trained as an economic historian and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of Smoking, Culture and Economy in the Middle East: The Egyptian Tobacco Market, 1850–2000 (2006).

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