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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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Scientific Agriculture: Cultivators, Agriculturalists, or Peasants?

Scientific Agriculture: Cultivators, Agriculturalists, or Peasants?

(p.148) Chapter Four Scientific Agriculture: Cultivators, Agriculturalists, or Peasants?
The Power of Representation
Stanford University Press

This chapter explores the changing social relations in Egypt during the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century by focusing on representations of peasants in agricultural literature and how these representations were themselves shaped by the discourses of Islamic modernism. By analyzing agricultural texts and writing on agriculture, it reveals how the moral and ideational analysis of the fallah as subject assumed a key role in the intense scrutiny to which agricultural production was subjected at the end of the nineteenth century. The chapter shows that both agricultural production and the fallahin themselves contributed to the emergence of a collective identity developed by the Egyptian middle class through the 1880s and 1890s. It also demonstrates the ways that the urban intelligentsia increasingly articulated their political aspirations through the scientific idioms of agricultural knowledge and the moral values of cultural authenticity and political independence. Finally, the chapter explains how the peasant question became the primary vehicle to vividly represent power relations.

Keywords:   social relations, Egypt, peasants, agriculture, modernism, fallah, fallahin, intelligentsia, peasant question, power relations

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