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Ferrand, Antoinette

"Youth in Nasser's time: a class identity

Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, 2024
Serie: ZMO Working Papers 38

13 p.


This article questions the relevance of certain terms used in writing the history of post-1952 Egypt and enquires into the specificity of Egyptian socio-economic development in Nasser’s time and after. It argues that studying the conceptualization of the term “youth”, as an alternative to that of “generation” (predominant in the historiography), offers an opportunity to put Egyptian society in a broader context, that of the entry of Third World countries into international capitalism. Both generational roles in modern Egypt and the idea of Egyptian national authenticity can be understood by viewing the progressive definition of “youth” as a sociological category. This perspective allows to offer an alternative view of the Nasserite period that relies on an authoritarian prism which tends to smooth the rough edges and contradictions of that era.

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