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Life as politics
Asef Bayat

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Life as politics
how ordinary people change the Middle East
Asef Bayat

Published 2010 by Amsterdam University Press, Manchester University Press [distributor] in Amsterdam, Manchester .
Written in English.

About the Book

In the popular imagination, the Muslim Middle East is frozen in its own traditions and history - a land of mosques and minarets, veiled women, despotic regimes, and desert sand. But this assumption fails to recognize that social and political change comes in many guises. In this eye-opening book, Asef Bayat reveals how under the shadow of the authoritarian rule, religious moral authorities, and economic elites, ordinary people can make meaningful change through the practices of everyday life. Though not as visible on the world-stage as a mass protest or a full-scale revolution, millions of people across the Middle East are discovering or creating new social spaces within which to make their claims heard. The street vendor who sets up his business in the main square, squatters who take over public parks, Muslim youth who frequent public hangouts in blue jeans, and protestors who march in the streets, poor housewives who hang their wash in the alleyways, and educated women who pursue careers doing "men's work" - all these people challenge the state's control and implicity question the established public order through their daily activities. Though not coordinated in their activities, these "non-movements" offer a political response, not of protest but of practice and direct daily action.

Table of Contents

Introduction : the art of presence
Transforming the Arab Middle East : dissecting a manifesto
Part 1: Social nonmovements. The quiet encroachment of the ordinary ; The poor and the perpetual pursuit of life chances ; Feminism of everyday life ; Reclaiming youthfulness ; The politics of fun
Part 2: Street politics and the political street. A street named "revolution" ; Does radical Islam have an urban ecology? ; Everyday cosmopolitanism ; The "Arab street" ; Is there a future for Islamic revolutions?
Part 3: Prospects. No silence, no violence: post-Islamist trajectory.

Edition Notes

ISIM series on contemporary Muslim societies


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Library of Congress

The Physical Object

p. cm.

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Open Library
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July 30, 2014 Created by ImportBot import new book