Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society

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Univ of California Press, Sep 6, 2016 - Social Science - 384 pages
First published in 1986, Lila Abu-Lughod’s Veiled Sentiments has become a classic ethnography in the field of anthropology. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Abu-Lughod lived with a community of Bedouins in the Western Desert of Egypt for nearly two years, studying gender relations, morality, and the oral lyric poetry through which women and young men express personal feelings. The poems are haunting, the evocation of emotional life vivid. But Abu-Lughod’s analysis also reveals how deeply implicated poetry and sentiment are in the play of power and the maintenance of social hierarchy. What begins as a puzzle about a single poetic genre becomes a reflection on the politics of sentiment and the complexity of culture.
 
This thirtieth anniversary edition includes a new afterword that reflects on developments both in anthropology and in the lives of this community of Awlad 'Ali Bedouins, who find themselves increasingly enmeshed in national political and social formations. The afterword ends with a personal meditation on the meaning—for all involved—of the radical experience of anthropological fieldwork and the responsibilities it entails for ethnographers.
 

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Contents

O NE Guest and Daughter
1
TWO Identity in Relationship
39
THREE Honor and the Virtues of Autonomy
78
FO UR Modesty Gender and Sexuality II 8
118
The Symbolism of Gender and Sexuality
134
the Denial of Sexuality
152
PART
167
SIX Honor and Poetic Vulnerability
186
S EVEN Modesty and the Poetry of Love
208
EIGHT Ideology and the Politics of Sentiment
233
Formulas and Themes
303
the Ghinnaura
315
Bibliography
339
Index
351
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About the author (2016)

Lila Abu-Lughod is Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor of Social Science at Columbia University, where she teaches anthropology and gender studies. She is the author of Writing Women's Worlds: Bedouin Stories, Dramas of Nationhood: The Politics of Television in Egypt, and Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

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