Public Culture and the Construction of Social Identity
This chapter studies a Middle Eastern state that tries to construct the “local” as a national community which is slightly outside the reach of global capital. It shows that Baathist Syria has had mixed results in its efforts to preserve a distinctively Syrian identity, despite the fact that Syria has been more hesitant than Egypt to lead the entry of global capital. The chapter also discusses the concept of “mere consumption,” which takes the place of modernist engines for constructing national identity.
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