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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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The New Peasant, Colonial Identity, and the Modern State

The New Peasant, Colonial Identity, and the Modern State

(p.180) Chapter Five The New Peasant, Colonial Identity, and the Modern State
The Power of Representation
Stanford University Press

Between 1875 and 1900, intellectuals in Egypt came to conceive of their country more as a biography of a people and less as a geographical entity. This phenomenon gained momentum over the course of the first two decades of the twentieth century, with modern social categories and political concepts becoming further amalgamated into the consciousness of Egyptians. The view of Egypt as single people with a discrete identity and a common fate intensified as the aspects of social affinity previously attached to religious bonds became integrated into new ideas about Eastern and Egyptian identity. This collective identity assumed more recognizably modern forms as Egypt emerged as a nation and Egyptian-ness came to resemble modern Egyptian nationalism. The emergent middle classes attempted to impose an image of the social world that “most conform(ed) to the interest of this social formation” through their representations of the peasants as seen in the public sphere.

Keywords:   Egypt, intellectuals, identity, Egyptian-ness, nationalism, middle classes, peasants, public sphere

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