From Effendi to Infitāḥī? Consumerism and its Malcontents in the Emergence of Egyptian Market Society

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Abstract

This article studies intellectual responses of the Egyptian middle class, or effendiyya, to the development of local consumer society during the 1970s. Effendiyya opposition to Sadat's economic reforms (infitāh{dot below}) was ample in films, film reviews, and academic writing. The most emphatic objection was raised against a transition from production- to consumption-based social stratification and society. New consumerism represented the unjust reign of the market over 'authentic' Egyptian life. This opposition served as a significant outlet for discontent among educated and often state-employed strata. Such canonic opposition testified to the success of the long-term project of building a local middle class. It also singled its partial future demise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

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