Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity
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Sociology, Egyptology & Anthropology Department
This is the first ethnographic exploration of gender, race and class amongst British born or raised Arabs in London. It takes a critical look at the idea of 'Arab-ness' and the ways in which their ethnicities are created and expressed in the city.
Looking at everyday spaces, encounters and discourses, the book explores the lives of young people and the ways in which they achieve 'Arab-ness'. It uncovers stories of growing up in London, the social codes at Shisha cafes and the sexual politics and ethnic self-portraits which are present in British-Arab men and women.
Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, Becoming Arab in London reveals the need to move away from the notion of identity and towards a performative reading of race, gender and class. What emerges is an innovative contribution to the study of diaspora and difference in contemporary Britain.
'Provides amazingly rich insights into the lives and experiences of young British Arabs ... makes a very meaningful contribution to our understandings of 'multicultural London' - Caroline Nagel, University of South Carolina
'Richly ethnographic ... full of insightful examinations of the inner lives and outer practices of the young people it documents and reveals much about the contemporary conditions of Arab youth in London' - Nicole Berger, CritCom
Arabs, London, Identity, Race, Gender, Class, Performativity, Performance, Multiculturalism, Neo-Structuralism, Shisha Cafes, Oriental Dance, Visual Orientailism, Autoethnography, Diaspora
Social and Cultural Anthropology
(2015).Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity. Pluto Press.
Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity. Pluto Press, 2015.