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Made In Egypt

Gendered Identity and Aspiration on the Globalised Shop Floor

Leila Zaki Chakravarti

274 pages, 28 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-077-3 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Published (July 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78533-078-0 eBook

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“The book is a valuable addition to the ethnography of Egypt in general and to gender stories in particular. It succeeds in describing the inner lives of men and women working in the firm and in charting their social and sexual agency and aspirations…[It] is well written and conveys the humanity of its characters.” • Anthropos

“This book makes a timely and significant contribution to the ethnographic literature on contemporary Egyptian factory workplace dynamics between management and workers, in which gender relations, class, power, control, resistance, and religious discourses intersect…” • Khaled Adham, UAE University


This ground-breaking ethnography of an export-orientated garment assembly factory in Egypt examines the dynamic relationships between its managers – emergent Mubarak-bizniz (business) elites who are caught in an intensely competitive globalized supply chain – and the local daily-life realities of their young, educated, and mixed-gender labour force. Constructions of power and resistance, as well as individual aspirations and identities, are explored through articulations of class, gender and religion in both management discourses and shop floor practices. Leila Chakravarti’s compelling study also moves beyond the confines of the factory, examining the interplay with the wider world around it.

Leila Zaki Chakravarti is Research Associate at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, with extensive fieldwork experience as a shop floor worker in an Egyptian garment assembly factory.

Subject: Gender Studies General Anthropology Sociology
Area: Middle East & Israel


Note on Transliteration

Introduction: The Factory as Crucible

Chapter 1. The Firm as Family: Control and Resistance
Chapter 2. The Shopfloor as Marketplace: Love and Consumption
Chapter 3. Daughters of the Factory: Discipline and Nurture
Chapter 4. Globalised Takeover: Performance and Resistance

Conclusion: Domination and Resistance

Appendix: The Fashion Express Workforce


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