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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy in Politics and International Studies
Title Education and the Production of Citizenship in the Late Mubarak Era: Privatization, Discipline and the Construction of the Nation in Egyptian Secondary Schools
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/13607/1/Sobhy_3351.pdf
This research is about the production of ‗lived‘ and ‗ideal‘ citizenship in the late
Mubarak era. It examines the ways in which national secondary schools produce
students as gendered and classed citizens and how national identity and citizenship are
constructed and contested in schools within the prevailing authoritarian, neoliberal and
Islamist projects. The thesis draws on extensive research in six technical, general and
private secondary schools catering to different social classes in Cairo between 2008 and
2010, and an analysis of the relevant nationally unified textbooks. It highlights the ways
in which schools serve as examples of the corrosion of state legitimacy, the weakening
and informalization of state institutions and the associated patterns of repression,
corruption and contestation.
The research shows how informal and extralegal privatization had nullified the state's
commitment to free public education and undermined various aspects of discipline,
attendance and examination in the system; contributing to more violent and arbitrary
forms of punishment, especially in public schools. It details the different forms of
almost compulsory tutoring and arbitrary beating, humiliation and gender control by
teachers that structured and undermined the citizenship entitlements of working as well
as middle class students.
It draws out the lines of citizenship and national identity projects as presented in
official textbooks; discussing their prominent use of Islam and Islamist morality and the
place of neoliberal citizenship and constructions of the ‗bad citizen‘ in them. It shows
how schools attempt to promote feelings of love and belonging to the nation through
school rituals and discourses. It describes the ways in which these official nationhood
and citizenship projects were appropriated or subverted by school actors, and their use
of themes of poverty, corruption, humiliation and injustice in reflecting on both the
state and love of the nation.

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