Ola Kamal


This thesis is premised on autoethnographic research in mapping and tracing the social. The thesis suggests and explores the elements of the past playing a role in the construction of the subject throughout the everyday, allowing for various ways for creating oneself and reassembling one’s paths. The thesis reflects on the workings of memory and constructions of narratives in creating the social. My case study is my family, which is a Polish-Egyptian family. The main concepts in my autoethnography center around the issues connected to the intertwined relation between the past, present and future, the everyday, and subject formation. Through these main concepts, I analyze the following: remembrance, constellations, sites of memory, commemorations, the power of naming, and categories of identification. Research materials and sources include oral histories, letters, photographs, notebooks, newspaper articles and clippings, through which the past is reconstructed in the present, offering ways for understanding the present. Throughout my autoethnography, I move between storytelling and theory, blending the two together. My thesis is about connections and ways of reassembling the social as well as capturing its fluidity. Hence, my writing reflects these fluid connections, setting them all in dialogue, through moving along the past and present, memories, (im)material traces, theories and fieldwork, the public and private spheres, as well as myself as both researcher and subject.

Degree Name

MA in Sociology-Anthropology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2017

First Advisor

Rouchdy, Malak

Committee Member 1

Sabea, Hanan

Committee Member 2

Al-Rustom, Hakem


170 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item