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A divine cosmopolitanism? Religion, media and imagination in a socially divided Cairo

Elsayed, Heba (2016) A divine cosmopolitanism? Religion, media and imagination in a socially divided Cairo. Media, Culture and Society, 38 (1). pp. 48-63. ISSN 0163-4437

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0163443715615413


With a focus on young Egyptian women, this article explores the different ways it becomes possible to reconcile a Muslim identity with a cosmopolitan openness towards the world. Informed primarily by transnational television, these women articulate a divine cosmopolitan imagination through which they form multiple allegiances to God, the nation and global culture simultaneously. Thus, a close analysis of their regular consumption of transnational television helps challenge linear and somewhat naturalized preconceptions of how Muslims articulate perceptions of self and others. In the articulation of both their cosmopolitan imagination and religious identities, young Egyptian women have become skilled negotiators, moving within and between mediated and non-mediated discourses. They move physically within a grounded place that sets the moral boundaries for bodily existence, yet shift subjectively between disembedded spaces of mediated representation, often providing new contexts for meaning and inclusivity. The result, for young Egyptian women, is a divine cosmopolitan imagination.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BP Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2016 14:03
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2024 17:48
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council

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