Health and Identity in Egypt, The American University in Cairo Press, 2004.

Four anthropologists argue the relevance of bodily experiences and conditions to the understanding of social processes in Egypt. Using recent ethnography that describes beliefs and practices concerning infertility, beauty, and physical and spiritual health, the authors engage with issues of identity in both urban and rural Egyptian settings. Each study attempts to transcend the notions of viewing health and ill-health as simple physical experiences and to draw out their social and political significance. Throughout the studies, Egyptians express their cultures, identity and beliefs through their enactment of bodily conditions and their quests for therapies of all kinds. While the focus of this volume is on health and beauty, its contribution lies within the tradition of modern social analysis and critique, offering fresh insights to the study of identity that takes us beyond the divide between being and becoming.
Author(s): Farha Ghannam , Hania Sholkamy  
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