Four anthropologists argue the relevance of bodily experiences and conditions for the understanding of social processes in Egypt today. Based on current ethnography that describes beliefs and practices concerning spiritual health, physical beauty, infertility, and physical health, the authors engage with the creation of identity in both urban and rural Egyptian settings. Each study attempts to transcend the limitations of health and ill-health as simple physical experiences and to make explicit the social and political significance of such conditions and processes. Throughout the studies, Egyptian citizens express their locations, cultures, identity, and beliefs through their enactment of physical conditions and through their many quests for therapies. The consideration of available medical resources and the strategic investments undertaken to utilize them provide ample commentary on the social situation of individuals and the changing dynamics of Egyptian society. The focus of this volume is on health and beauty, but its contribution lies firmly within the tradition of modern social analysis and critique.
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(229mm x 149mm x 10mm)
The American University in Cairo Press
Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
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Author Biography - Hania Sholkamy
Hania Sholkamy is a medical anthropologist who has worked with the Population Council and currently works with the Social Research Center and the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies Center of the American University in Cairo. Farha Ghannam is a visiting assistant professor of anthropology at Swarthmore College. She is the author of Remaking the Modern: Space, Relocation, and the Politics of Identity in a Global Cairo, and is a member of the Reproductive Health Working Group.