Mass Culture and Modernism in Egypt / Edition 1

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This path-breaking study of Egyptian popular culture provides fresh and vital insights into the long struggle of modern Egypt to define its identity. Dr. Armbrust examines Egyptian television, recorded music, the press, and the cinema. These popular media have broken radically with cultural icons of Egypt's past, while offering ordinary people a way of coming to terms with the clashing values of nationalism, modernity, and Arab classicism. However, since the 1970s, popular culture has also become a site of contestation. The delicate balance between conservative nationalist imagery and a modernist ethic has been increasingly put in question by producers and consumers of the media, reflecting a sense that the representations of modernity do not reflect the experience of Egyptians.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mass Culture and Modernism in Egypt is a refreshing initiative that is bound to stir up controversy amongst modernist anthropologists, just as the belly-dancing Zuzu did amongst straight-laced scholars at Cairo University." William Washabaugh, American Anthropologist

"The creativity and intellectual sharpness of Armbrust's book will come as a relief to readers who had begun to suspect that 'popular culture' and 'thin enthnography' were made for each other." Anthropological Quarterly

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. The white flag; 3. The split vernacular; 4. The gifted musician; 5. Classic, clunker, national narrative; 6. Popular commentary, real lives; 7. 'Vulgarity'.
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