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Discussion Questions for Connected in Cairo

November 18, 2011

The following discussion questions were written by the author for a course on the anthropology of the Middle East taught at Miami University.

They are designed to

1) ensure students have done the reading,
2) provide material for class discussion, and
3) offer questions for short essay answers on exams.

Click here to download as a handout (pdf format):

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR CONNECTED IN CAIRO

CHAPTER ONE: “Toward an Anthropology of Connections”

  • How are modernity, globalization and class tied together for Egyptians?
  • What is indexicality, and why does the author think it is useful for studying globalization?

CHAPTER TWO: “Making Kids Modern”

  • What role does media play as Egyptian families seek to imagine their children’s futures?
  • How are Ismail and Yasseen growing apart as a result of their families’ different views?

CHAPTER THREE: “Pokemon Panics”

  • How were the moral panics over Pokemon different in Egypt and the Gulf? Why?

CHAPTER FOUR: “Talk Like an Egyptian”

  • Why is authenticity an issue for some cosmopolitan Egyptians?
  • What does it mean to say that identities are always “emergent”?
  • What is the difference between nationalism and Islamism as sources of authenticity?

CHAPTER FIVE “Coffee Shops and Gender in Translocal Spaces”

  • In what ways does an ’ahwa become a place where men can display masculinity?
  • In what ways can coffee shops be said to be feminine?
  • How is class tied to the construction of masculinity and femininity?

CHAPTER SIX: “The Global and the Multilocal”

  • Why did McDonald’s almost fail in Egypt?
  • Why does business failure in Egypt affect Egyptians more than their foreign counterparts?

EPILOGUE

  • What does the author mean, “Everyone grows up global, and everyone does so in locales”?
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