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A City ConsumedUrban Commerce, the Cairo Fire, and the Politics of Decolonization in Egypt$
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Nancy Reynolds

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804781268

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804781268.001.0001

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Socks, Shoes, and Marketing Mass Consumption

Socks, Shoes, and Marketing Mass Consumption

(p.114) 4 Socks, Shoes, and Marketing Mass Consumption
A City Consumed
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the urgent campaigns in Egypt to create a domestic market for locally produced cotton socks and shoes in response to boycotters. It shows that the drive to create a national market independent of colonial domination developed as much from the particular trajectories of the expansion of local consumption as from the dynamics of European colonial dominance in trade and culture. The nationalist production sector, and the local elites who operated it, attempted in the late 1920s and 1930s to siphon the growing demand for ready-made footwear and hosiery to capture and control the mass consumption regime inaugurated by colonial forces in preceding decades. However, the elevation of Egypt's long-staple cotton as a national unifier would struggle against religious and class injunctions against silk and other luxury fabrics. Interwar shoe marketers also attempted to capture consumers with the promise of upward mobility, in this instance employing directly the language of foreignness, so maligned by boycotters.

Keywords:   domestic market, consumption, colonialism, upward mobility, boycotters

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