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Avenues of Participation : Family, Politics and Networks in Urban Quarters of Cairo

Avenues of Participation : Family, Politics and Networks in Urban Quarters of Cairo - 95 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691025681

Cover of Avenues of Participation : Family, Politics and Networks in Urban Quarters of Cairo 95 (ISBN 978-0691025681)
ISBN13: 978-0691025681
ISBN10: 0691025681
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 95
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Published: 1995
International: No

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Avenues of Participation : Family, Politics and Networks in Urban Quarters of Cairo - 95 edition

ISBN13: 978-0691025681

Diane Singerman

ISBN13: 978-0691025681
ISBN10: 0691025681
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 95
Publisher: Princeton University Press

Published: 1995
International: No
Summary

Intentionally excluded from formal politics in authoritarian states by reigning elites, do the common people have concrete ways of achieving community objectives? Contrary to conventional wisdom, this book demonstrates that they do. Focusing on the political life of the sha'b (or popular classes) in Cairo, Diane Singerman shows how men and women develop creative and effective strategies to accomplish shared goals, despite the dominant forces ranged against them. Starting at the household level in one densely populated neighborhood of Cairo, Singerman examines communal patterns of allocation, distribution, and decisionmaking. Combining the institutional focus of political science with the sensitivities of anthropology, she uncovers a system of informal networks, supported by an informal economy, that constitutes another layer of collective institutions within Egypt and allows excluded groups to pursue their interests. Avenues of Participation traces this informal system from its grounding in the family to its influence on the larger polity. Discussing the role of these networks in meeting fundamental needs in the communitysuch as earning a living, reproducing the family, saving and investing money, and coping with the bureaucracySingerman demonstrates the surprising power these "excluded" people wield. While the government has reduced politics to the realm of distribution to protect itself from challenges, she argues that the popular classes in Cairo, as consumers of goods and services, have turned exploiting the government into a fine art.

Author Bio

Singerman, Diane : The American University

Diane Singerman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government, School of Public Affairs, at The American University.

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Foreword
Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration
Introduction

Egypt and Popular Political Expression
The Context and Approach of the Study

Ch. 1 The Family, Politics, and the Familial Ethos

The Public/Private Dichotomy and Political Participation
Patrimonialism, the Family, and Participation in a Middle Eastern Context
The Familial Ethos
Conclusion: An Ethos beyond the Household


Ch. 2 Reproducing the Family

Choosing a Mate: ''Shababiik, shababiik, id-dunya kullaha shababiik''
Marriage Protocol, or the Rules of Engagement
Sexuality and the Transgression of Public Norms
The Cost of Marriage: An Economic Nightmare
Raising the Capital to Marry
Conclusions: Marriage, the Economy, and the State


Ch. 3 Networks: The Political Lifeline of Community

Earning a Living
Development: Education Networks
The Bureaucracy and the State


Ch. 4 Informality: Politics and Economics in Tandem

Informal and Formal Economic Activity in a Shabi Community
Family Enterprises
Informality Meets the State
The Shab and Informality: Wages and Wealth
Informality: The Economic and Political Consequences for the Nation


Ch. 5 Politics as Distribution

Private Voluntary Organizations: A Mediated Distribution Point
Elite Politics, the State, and the Shab


Conclusions
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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