A Trade Like Any Other: Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt
By: Karin van Nieuwkerk (author)Paperback
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In Egypt, singing and dancing are considered essential on happy occasions. Professional entertainers often perform at weddings and other celebrations, and a host family's prestige rises with the number, expense, and fame of the entertainers they hire. Paradoxically, however, the entertainers themselves are often viewed as disreputable people and are accorded little prestige in Egyptian society. This paradox forms the starting point of Karin van Nieuwkerk's look at the Egyptian entertainment trade. She explores the lives of female performers and the reasons why work they regard as "a trade like any other" is considered disreputable in Egyptian society. In particular, she demonstrates that while male entertainers are often viewed as simply "making a living," female performers are almost always considered bad, seductive women engaged in dishonorable conduct. She traces this perception to the social definition of the female body as always and only sexual and enticing-a perception that stigmatizes women entertainers even as it simultaneously offers them a means of livelihood.
Karin van Nieuwkerk is an anthropologist and professor of contemporary Islam in Europe and the Middle East at the Radboud University Nijmegen.
Acknowledgments Note on Transcription One. Introduction Two. Female Entertainment in Nineteenth-Century Egypt Three. Female Entertainment in The Twentieth Century Four. Life Stories of Female Entertainers Five. Marginality Six. Honor and Shame Seven. Gender Eight. Female Entertainers: Feminine and Masculine Nine. Conclusions Appendix: Methodological Notes Notes Glossary Bibliography Index
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- ID: 9780292787230
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