Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Rise of the Egyptian Middle Class
Socio-economic Mobility and Public Discontent from Nasser to Sadat


  • Date Published: September 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108464703

£ 25.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • During the 1970s and early 1980s, Egypt experienced swift economic growth resulting from a regional oil boom. Oddly, this economic growth hardly registered in Egyptian public discourse, which continuously claimed that the country was experiencing multiple economic, social, and cultural crises. This book sets out to investigate this discrepancy and to offer a revisionist history of the period. It documents the massive socio-economic mobility in Egypt by analysing relevant statistical data and ethnographic evidence, indicating the changes in the employment structure and the spread of mass consumption. Relli Shechter further examines a wide array of cultural resources, such as Egyptian academic writing, the press, the cinema, and the literature, in which critics lamented 'what went wrong' in Egypt. By doing so, he offers a local version of a wider Middle Eastern and international story: the global formation of middle-class societies whose members strove for respectable lives with only partial success.

    • Presents a revisionist explanation of the fast expansion of the Egyptian middle class
    • Uses Egypt as a case study to document broader and global social and economic change
    • Examines statistical evidence, as well as accounting for how public commentators explained contemporary transitions
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Through a thorough investigation of the socio-economic mobility, employment structure, and the spread of consumption, The Rise of the Egyptian Middle Class lays the foundations for the corrective argument that the oil boom, not Sadat's open door policies, was the driving force behind the social transformations in Post-Nasser Egypt. With a wealth of statistical data ethnographic evidence, and profound historical analysis, Shechter produced a wonderful and long-awaited contribution to the study of the Egyptian society since President Sadat.' Hanan Hammad, Addran College of Liberal Arts, Texas

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108464703
    • length: 285 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.427kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Working into the middle class
    3. 'Crisis of supply in every household'
    4. 'Provocative consumption'
    5. 'Parasites'
    6. The resurgence of middle-class Islam
    7. Conclusion: socio-economic mobility and discontent.

  • Author

    Relli Shechter, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
    Relli Shechter is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. He trained as an economic historian and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of Smoking, Culture and Economy in the Middle East: The Egyptian Tobacco Market, 1850–2000 (2006).

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.