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Language, Politics and Society in the Middle EastEssays in Honour of Yasir Suleiman$
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Yonatan Mendel and Abeer AlNajjar

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421539

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421539.001.0001

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Language as Proxy in Egypt’s Identity Politics: Examining the New Wave of Egyptian Nationalism

Language as Proxy in Egypt’s Identity Politics: Examining the New Wave of Egyptian Nationalism

Chapter:
(p.126) Chapter 7 Language as Proxy in Egypt’s Identity Politics: Examining the New Wave of Egyptian Nationalism
Source:
Language, Politics and Society in the Middle East
Author(s):

Mariam Aboelezz

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421539.003.0008

This article, written by Mariam Aboelezz’s, focuses on the period following the overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist president Mohamad Morsi in 2013. Concurrent with this was a government-supported emphasis on ‘Egyptian identity’. Using the concept of alterity as highlighted by Suleiman, as well as acknowledging Suleiman’s contribution to the study of the role of language as proxy in identity politics, Aboelezz examines how language is used as proxy in this new wave of Egyptian nationalism. She demonstrates how old motifs have been revived by the government – for example, the use of ʿāmmiyya and the rejection of fuṣḥā as proxies for promoting an Egyptian identity – and establishes a convincing link between language and identity through processes of distanciation, differentiation and identification.

Keywords:   Identity Politics, Egyptian politics, Egyptian identity, Egyptian nationalism, Language and identity

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