Dramas of Nationhood

Dramas of Nationhood

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How do people come to think of themselves as part of a nation? Dramas of Nationhood identifies a fantastic cultural form that binds together the Egyptian nationa€”television serials. These melodramatic programsa€”like soap operas but more closely tied to political and social issues than their Western counterpartsa€”have been shown on television in Egypt for more than thirty years. In this book, Lila Abu-Lughod examines the shifting politics of these serials and the way their contents both reflect and seek to direct the changing course of Islam, gender relations, and everyday life in this Middle Eastern nation. Representing a decade's worth of research, Dramas of Nationhood makes a case for the importance of studying television to answer larger questions about culture, power, and modern self-fashionings. Abu-Lughod explores the elements of developmentalist ideology and the visions of national progress that once dominated Egyptian televisiona€”now experiencing a crisis. She discusses the broadcasts in rich detail, from the generic emotional qualities of TV serials and the depictions of authentic national culture, to the debates inflamed by their deliberate strategies for combating religious extremism.She showed me around the house so I could see all the furniturea€”beds, wardrobes, couches, armchairs, and side tables. (In contrast, Zaynab owns only a couple of locally made benches, a low table for eating, one large wooden bed, and aanbsp;...

Title:Dramas of Nationhood
Author: Lila Abu-Lughod
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2008-05-30

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