Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2011. $ 22.46 (paperback) Connected in Cairo Published in the Public Cultures of the Middle East and North Africa series by Indiana University Press (Paul Silverstein, Susan Slyomovics, and Ted Swedenburg, eds.), Connected in Cairo analyzes the public-ness and self-fashioning of elite social worlds. Key to this analysis is the role upwardly mobile and elite Cairenes play in facilitating the flow of goods, ideas, people, and capital in both directions—“down” to less affluent Egyptians and “up” to transnational corporations and commodity chains (p. 171). Mark Allen Peterson thus eloquently illustrates a sort of globalization from the middle, rather than “from above” or “from below.” His work argues for the importance of multiple co-existing forms of localization, themselves marked by strategies of class differentiation, that together shape the globalization of life in Cairo. Peterson does an excellent job of decentering his own voice as a researcher while keeping himself in the ethnographic frame. Instead of struggling to define globalization, Peterson lets his interlocutors explain how it impacts them in ways big and small. While this does not have the explanatory force or satisfying reach of a more systemic critique, it does insist on the
Sociology of Islam – Brill
Published: Apr 30, 2014
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