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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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Passages to Modernity

Passages to Modernity

(p.139) 4 Passages to Modernity
The Age of the Efendiyya

Lucie Ryzova

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on narratives of young men, sons of the “traditional” families discussed in the previous chapter. It looks at the experience of “becoming modern” as a particular classed and gendered social experience, as well as one enacted through a specific genre of texts: modern Egyptian autobiography. In these texts, life histories are framed as linear journeys from “tradition” and towards middle-class modernity. This chapter looks at the generational dimension of such autobiographical acts and their shared narrative strategies: departure and personal metamorphosis, often presented as a matter of struggle and self-education, and the role “traditional” parents and places of origin play in these texts.

Keywords:   Egyptian modernity, middle Class, modern Egyptian men, efendi, efendiyya, autobiography, social mobility, becoming modern, education, self-education, nationalism, tradition, authenticity

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