Anne Caldwell


This thesis attempts to analyze the contradictions and practices of a neoliberal ethical project among a privileged class in contemporary Cairo. The growing presence and availability of international schools in Cairo has reconfigured particular aspects of culture, care, and freedom for elite subjects over the past forty years. The main research question is: how are globalized notions of well being, self-realization, and personal fulfillment transmitted through the work of neoliberal discourse and staff at international schools in Cairo. It has been identified in this thesis that certain forms of care and responsibility are tightly bound and shaped by a neoliberal project that emphasizes freedom and entrepreneurship. As these forms of self-fashioning and self-making are globally circulated through the work of international schools in Cairo, they further convolute meanings of "the good life" and striving toward its end which can often result in particular forms of suffering and shifting imaginations of relating to one's self. This paper has reviewed literature on the subject and accumulated a more thorough understanding from several interviews with teachers and counselors at international schools in Cairo as well as from surveying students at an international university in Cairo to show the ways in which privilege can too disenfranchise much like failed neoliberal policies in contemporary society.

Degree Name

MA in Sociology-Anthropology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2012

First Advisor

Perdigon, Sylvain

Second Advisor

Rizzo, Helen



Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Intertiol education -- Egypt -- Cairo.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Educatiol exchanges -- Egypt -- Cairo.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


This project was made possible because of the encouragement and contribution of countless individuals. Many thanks to the faculty and staff of the AUC SAPE department especially Dalia Adel, Lilian Boutros, Dr. Amy Holmes, Dr. Malak Rouchdy, Dr. Han Sabea, and Dr. Mark Westmoreland who have aided and enthused me along the way. Special thanks to my committee members, Dr. Helen Rizzo and Dr. Dalia Abdelhady, who have been committed to my successful academic pursuits and persol well being from the very beginning. I am deeply indebted to my advisor and mentor, Dr. Sylvain Perdigon, for his untiring care of my research, his inspiration and expertise, and his generous determition to help me succeed. Without his integrity and kindness, this project would not be. I am honored to have worked with such an exemplary scholar and individual. I could not have embarked on such a journey without the unconditiol love and support of my family: Maj. Gerald Wayne Caldwell, Rebecca Lynn Caldwell, Matthew David Caldwell, and Mark Robert Caldwell.