To Live and Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt by Farha Ghannam (review)

pp. 161-162 Resee
To Live and also Die Like a Man: Gender Dynamics in Urban Egypt, by Farha Ghannam. Stanford, CA: Stanford College Press, 2013. 240 pages. Cloth $85, Paper $24.95, E-book $24.95.

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In this groundbreaking job-related, anthropologist Farha Ghannam utilizes two decades of field study in the working-course area of al-Zawiya al-Hamra’ to deconstruct the idea of masculinity. She is aware that her own status greatly changed over these years as she went from newlymarried grad student to established professor through son. Additionally, her accessibility was additionally affected by her association with American universities, and mediated by her Jordanian origins and her religious beliefs (Islam). It is clear that she establiburned cshed ties with her many kind of years in the community through the very same families.

In this examine, Ghannam examines the meaning of masculinity through numerous processes: prospering up, marital relationship, finding a career, aging, and also death. While these stories are told with the stays of a handful of her cshed interlocutors, the voices of various other guys, women, and also kids approximately them ring loud and clear. Woguys, in certain, are important for a variety of reasons. First, Ghannam chose to “adbelow to social norms as soon as it came to male/female interaction” and also she stayed amethod from segregated spaces (e.g., the male-just component of the mosque, the area coffeeresidence, and also bangosmoking sessions) (p. 24). 2nd, by having solid female relations, Ghannam concerned understand also the effective function that womales have actually in developing and also defining masculinity. She argues that “woguys, particularly mothers and also sisters, job-related to ensure that male family members understand or perfect the existing standards that define the correct male … their interventions are frequently geared toward reestablishing the ordered relationships that privilege guys over woguys and also … husbands over wives (p. 105).

The duty of mothers is abundantly clear in the situation of Ahmed, Ghannam’s case research for “flourishing up.” The writer experienced the trajectory from his mother’s difficult pregnancy via a husband functioning awide, his tragic death, and her elevating Ahmed to age 12. The widowed mommy is torn between overwhelming affection and also the firm, stiff hand essential to raise a correct guy. Ahmed is surrounded by an orlittle bit of impacts consisting of various other male and female relatives, the area, and also American tv. By the moment he is 12, he is capable of running facility errands far from home, but he is additionally keenly conscious of his body and his grooming, obsessed with his dark skin and curly hair, and requirements the ideal oils to manage his unruly locks. Certainly, component of Ghannam’s fieldjob-related entailed interviewing barbers, pharmacists, and also hairdressers to talk about “exactly how bodily representations adjusted over time” (p. 21).

Ghannam excels at thick summary as she takes the reader on a journey right into the resides of Samer, the confirmed bachelor who finally marries, and also Zaki, who when monitored the resides of his sisters, yet now, given his own (poor) circumstances, is monitored by them. Particularly emotional is her chapter on fatality, which examines the “interarea in between sex, class, and age in shaping bodies and also health” (p. 134).

Ghannam’s conclusion takes the reader to the revolution of 2011. Here she argues that formerly the country has actually been stood for as a womale, “cherimelted, honored, and defended.” However before, she sees parallels between the creation of a “proper government (hukumah) and also a proper man: protection, support, and provision” (p. 163). She presents this as a brand-new finding, and also only cites just the work-related of Beth Baron to comment on the former. The work-related of Lisa Pollard more fully articulates the tropes of motherhood and also nation, and also it likewise discusses the work of post-independence political leaders in seeking masculinity as a defense versus these visions (See, The Family Politics of Modernizing, Liberating, and also Colonizing Egypt ; and, “From Husbands and Housewives to Suckers and also Whores,” Gender and History, Vol. 21, No. 3 , pp. 647–69).

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Tright here is little bit to criticize in this seminal work-related. One other question the reader could have actually is a methodological one. The author explains...