Among the various cinematic themes which have been studied over the past several years is that of the image of women. Women, taken as cinematic figures, evoke multiple images of a cultural and social discourse and draw attention to gender and family relations in a broader sense in a specific society. Moreover, Egyptian cinema has been a major point of reference for Egyptian culture in this country. It has shaped and expressed the changing of scenarios of modern Egypt to an extent that no preceding art form could ever achieve. It has influenced the way in which people perceive various aspects of their own lives.

This paper tries to decipher and articulate these points of view through the analysis of ten Egyptian films produced in the last decade. The films are mostly social films, some of which are very controversial, and have stirred a lot of debate in Egyptian society. I will thus examine how fictive articulations of women and gender relate to the wider discursive field of gender relations in society. I will also shed light on the relation between cinematic constructions of gender and prevailing gender ideologies. The analysis will also trace new consumption habits that have been introduced to Egypt in this era of globalization and cultural hybridism.

The methodology adopted will include the assimilation of small groups of film viewers broken down according to social class. The viewers will participate in film watching sessions followed by facilitated discussions. In addition, one to one interviews with Film Directors and Scenario writers will be used to supplement film analysis, interpretation and reviews. Elements of female body, sexuality, and consumerism will underline the scope and directives of film analysis in order to reach a deeper understanding of the unfolding changes in present day Egyptian modern society.

Fascinating conclusions are revealed while documenting audience response to films. Varied dynamics of Egyptian society are unveiled i.e. power and authority within Egypt's dominant patriarchal structure; the imagery in film and how it affects public behavior, morality, and aspirations; the vast impact of globalizations, voyeurism and its impact on commodification of the female body; social stratification and how it affects film-watching; along with the power and limitations of film as a socializing agent.


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Sociology-Anthropology

Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2005

Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Mona Abaza

Committee Member 1

Nazek Nosseir

Committee Member 2

Soraya Altorki

Document Type



119, vii

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Women in motion pictures

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Women consumers


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.

Call Number

Thesis 2005/5