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Comparing Cities: The Middle East and South Asia

Kamran Asdar Ali (Editor) Martina Rieker (Editor)
Synopsis This book highlights the changing social dynamics in Middle Eastern and South Asian cities. The comparative framework builds on a shared history of the colonial encounter, modernity, nationalism and urbanity and is further deepened by the larger framework of Muslim culture that influences social life in both spaces. The various chapters rethink the gendered dimension of public spaces and investigate the relationship between the popular and the political in these regions. They also take into account how larger structural changes in South Asia/ Middle East have impacted the practices and experiences of people.

This focus addresses the lack of social histories that explore urban life-worlds in an era of de-industrialization and major structural changes that are available for many cities in other regions of the world. Hence, It provides an interdisciplinary analysis that informs us about how transnational flows of ideas and resources shape certain responses to deprivation and marginality, yet also encourage political passivity and inaction. Raising such questions in a comparative context is essential to refocus research agendas and to inspire new studies. The volume is unique as, for the first time, it puts the field of urban studies within the two regions in a dialogue with each other and with similar efforts across the globe.
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About the authors

Kamran Asdar Ali

Kamran Asdar Ali is Associate Professor of Anthropology, Middle East Studies and Asian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of Planning the Family in Egypt: New Bodies, New Selves, and has also published several articles on issues of health and gender in Egypt and on Pakistani politics and popular culture. His recent work has been on ethnic, class, and gender issues in Pakistan.

Martina Rieker

Martina Rieker is Director of the Institute for Gender and Women's Studies at the American University in Cairo and has published articles on the politics of heritage in the Middle East, and is currently working on a project on gender, poverty, and urbanism in the global south.

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Bibliographic information

Title Comparing Cities: The Middle East and South Asia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780195474985
length xix+349p., Col. Illustrations; 25cm.