Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt

Watching the revolution of January 2011, the world saw Egyptians, men and women, come together to fight for freedom and social justice These events gave renewed urgency to the fraught topic of gender in the Middle East The role of women in public life, the meaning of manhood, and the future of gender inequalities are hotly debated by religious figures, government officiaWatching the revolution of January 2011, the world saw Egyptians, men and women, come together to fight for freedom and social justice These events gave renewed urgency to the fraught topic of gender in the Middle East The role of women in public life, the meaning of manhood, and the future of gender inequalities are hotly debated by religious figures, government officials, activists, scholars, and ordinary citizens throughout Egypt Live and Die Like a Man presents a unique twist on traditional understandings of gender and gender roles, shifting the attention to men and exploring how they are collectively produced as gendered subjects It traces how masculinity is continuously maintained and reaffirmed by both men and women under changing socio economic and political conditions.Over a period of nearly twenty years, Farha Ghannam lived and conducted research in al Zawiya, a low income neighborhood not far from Tahrir Square in northern Cairo Detailing her daily encounters and ongoing interviews, she develops life stories that reveal the everyday practices and struggles of the neighborhood over the years We meet Hiba and her husband as they celebrate the birth of their first son and begin to teach him how to become a man Samer, a forty year old man trying to find a suitable wife Abu Hosni, who struggled with different illnesses and other local men and women who share their reactions to the uprising and the changing situation in Egypt Against this backdrop of individual experiences, Ghannam develops the concept of masculine trajectories to account for the various paths men can take to embody social norms In showing how men work to realize a male ideal, she counters the prevalent dehumanizing stereotypes of Middle Eastern men all too frequently reproduced in media reports, and opens new spaces for rethinking patriarchal structures and their constraining effects on both men and women.
Live and Die Like a Man Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt Watching the revolution of January the world saw Egyptians men and women come together to fight for freedom and social justice These events gave renewed urgency to the fraught topic of gender

  • Title: Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt
  • Author: Farha Ghannam
  • ISBN: 9780804783293
  • Page: 195
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt”

    1. Ghannam spent 20 years trying to put her finger on how masculinity is experienced in al-Zawya al-Hamra, a rough neighborhood, in downtown Cairo. Boys are socialized early on to embody manliness through displaying bravery, suppressing emotions, successfully navigating the space in and around al-Zawya, providing for family, avoiding harassment by the police, and learning when and how to use violence. The book beautifully captures how the women discipline and pressure the males to conform to a long [...]

    2. Excellent book that shows the complex ways in which gender and masculinity are constructed in urban space in Cairo. It shows how important ethnographic work is to gender studies in the Middle East.

    3. I hesitate to rate this book from a scholarly perspective, because I come from a very different disciplinary background. I'm not an anthropologist, and I deal more with the quantitative than the qualitative. So I can only review this as someone with a strong interest in the issue of masculinity, particularly as it manifests in the Arab world.With that being said, then, I'll start out by saying that this is a very good read. Farha's style is extremely lucid and easy to read. Through the stories o [...]

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