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Secularism, Gender & the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women's Movement

Al-Ali, Nadje (2000) Secularism, Gender & the State in the Middle East: The Egyptian Women's Movement. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Cambridge Middle East Studies; 14)

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Abstract

A considerable literature has been devoted to the study of Islamic activism. By contrast, Nadje Al-Ali’s book explores the anthropological and political significance of secular-oriented activism by focusing on the women’s movement in Egypt. In so doing, it challenges stereotypical images of Arab women as passive victims and demonstrates how they fight for their rights and confront conservative forces. Al-Ali’s book also takes issue with prevailing constructions of ‘the West’ and its perceived dichotomous relation to ‘the East’. The argument is constructed around interviews which afford fascinating insights into the history of the women’s movement in Egypt, notions about secularism and how Islamist constituencies have impacted on women’s activism generally. The balance between the empirical and conceptual material is adeptly handled. The author frames her work in the context of current theoretical debates in Middle Eastern and post-colonial scholarship: while some of the ideas are complex, her lucid style means they are always comprehensible; the book will therefore appeal to students, as well as to scholars in the field.

Item Type: Authored Books
Keywords: omprehensive analysis of Egyptian women’s movement • Challenges prevailing assumptions about secularism in Middle East, draws conclusions about post-colonial culture and attempts to break free from the traditionally-perceived East/West dichotomy • Accessibly written despite complexity of theoretical argument
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Languages and Cultures > Centre for Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
ISBN: 9780511034800
Depositing User: Nadje Al-Ali
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2008 08:56
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/3014

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