Cairo PopYouth Music in Contemporary Egypt

Cairo PopYouth Music in Contemporary Egypt

Daniel J. Gilman

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816689279

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press


This book represents the first scholarly engagement with shababiyya, the genre of popular music that dominates consumption in the Arab world in general and Egypt in particular. This genre is hugely popular among the contemporary youth generation of Egypt, yet scorned and ignored by their elders and scholars alike. The book analyzes the changing trends in musical tastes in Egypt over the last fifty years, and reveals a shift in the underlying aesthetic criteria of music reception that influences, among other things, the kind of political rhetoric to which these youth are receptive. The book is the most thickly ethnographic study to date of the relationship between mass-mediated popular music, modernity, and nationalism in the Arab world. The book is the first of its kind to be based upon sustained ethnographic research among a large number of youthful music listeners in the Arab world. It is also one of the earliest anthropological monographs to be published based on ethnographic research conducted amid the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The book is targeted primarily at cultural anthropologists, but also to other social scientists who study the Middle East and the Arab world.