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Review of Connected in Cairo in the Jordan Times

August 29, 2011

The English-daily Jordan Times has a very nice review of Connected in Cairo in today’s issue. Entitled ‘Locals who make it happen’ , the review by Sally Bland points out that many of the things I write about in Cairo–children’s magazines, fast-food restaurants, new-style cafes, malls, social media, exclusive private schools–are also prominent in Jordan, and asks whether comparisons can be drawn.

The review also points to similarities and differences between my book and Diane Singerman and Paul Amar’s excellent Cairo Cosmopolitan  (AUC Press, 2006), noting that:

Both emphasise class, but while “Cairo Cosmopolitan” focuses on the effects of state policy and city planning on the city’s character and the lower classes, Peterson zooms in on the consumer habits of the upper class and what these signify in terms of status and aspirations. Here, cosmopolitanism is seen as “a style for managing difference that allows one to move easily across political, social, cultural, and economic boundaries.”

The title of the review is drawn from a quotation from Chapter Six, and emphasizes the reviewers interest in my argument that (in her words):

globalisation is not a one-way street or an abstract supernational process, but the sum of myriad localisations which occur when capital, commodities, technologies, styles or discourses from abroad are adjusted to fit into a particular local context and integrated into social relationships.

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