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The Power of RepresentationPublics, Peasants, and Islam in Egypt$
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Michael Ezekiel Gasper

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804758888

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804758888.001.0001

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People, Peasants, and Intellectuals

People, Peasants, and Intellectuals

(p.62) Chapter Two People, Peasants, and Intellectuals
The Power of Representation
Stanford University Press

This chapter, which examines how Egypt's urban literati of the late 1870s and early 1880s thought and wrote about their own collective identity, shows that from the very beginning, literate Egyptians often articulated questions of identity by writing in the newspapers and other kinds of capitalist print media about peasants. It highlights how the urban intellectuals emphasized the importance of “civilized behavior” and “civilization” in their deliberations about the importance of establishing new kinds of social, economic, and moral bonds and in the practice of politics and political organization. The chapter also explores the importance of this new genre of writing to the elaboration and understanding of modern forms of Egyptian political and social subjectivity. Finally, it explains how the writings of the journalists Yaqub Sannu' and 'Abdallah al-Nadim bring the lives of the fallah majority into the perception of the mostly urban literate publics.

Keywords:   Egypt, intellectuals, identity, peasants, fallah, Yaqub Sannu', 'Abdallah al-Nadim, politics, civilization, civilized behavior

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