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The Age of the EfendiyyaPassages to Modernity in National-Colonial Egypt$
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Lucie Ryzova

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681778

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681778.001.0001

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Hearts Full of Hope

Hearts Full of Hope

(p.88) 3 Hearts Full of Hope
The Age of the Efendiyya

Lucie Ryzova

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at education understood as social practice, and concretely here from the perspective of parents. It asks the deceptively simple question of why did families (and which families) send their children—in this case overwhelmingly male children—to modern schools. For many middling families modern schooling represented a substantial financial burden as well as cultural novelty, which opens up a second question: how did they cope? Novel imageries, ambitions and assumptions (most importantly that of social mobility) as well as age-old social strategies informed the educational decisions that middling families of the colonial period chose for their male offspring. But while many of the strategies deployed by middling households were predicated on age-old social instincts, they were equally the product of a concrete historical juncture, notably, the rise of the inwardly expansive modern state, and its ever-growing need for human resources.

Keywords:   Egyptian modernity, middle class, tradition, modernity, efendi, efendiyya, education, social mobility, social strategies, autobiography, patriarchy, the family

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