Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Anna Secor

Abstract

State violence in Egypt is an embedded part of daily life and popular culture, and well documented in social and news media. The uprisings of January 11, which took place in Egypt were organized in large part against violence and torture regularly delivered by police forces. In this dissertation I examine the implications of chronic state violence on everyday life for low-income Egyptians. In doing so, this dissertation provides analysis of how violence shapes forms of intimacy within social life, how it shapes urban landscapes and the politics therein and how it informs individual piety and banal practices of security. This work contributes to studies within feminist geopolitics, memory and emotion within geography by understanding the lives of Cairenes through their experience of the landscape and places they inhabit, maneuver through, and create with the memory and threat of state violence.

The project focuses on four selected sites in Greater Cairo: Kholousy Street in Shoubra, Musky Market in Old Cairo, Cairo University in Giza, and Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo. These sites have been chosen because they represent different nodes of daily life (shopping, leisure, education, and political participation) for low-income Cairenes. Research methods include participant observation at the four sites, eleven focus groups and thirty-one interviews with low-income Cairo residents in two age cohorts: one group of participants between the ages of 18 and 26, and a second cohort between the ages of 49 and 57.

For each of these questions, this project provides a gender sensitive comparison of the two age cohorts in order to gain insight into the role of youth and memory and gender in Cairenes’ interpretations and representations of the Mubarak era and the recent revolution.

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