Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Reading Advertisements in a Colonial/Development Context: Cigarette Advertising and Identity Politics in Egypt, c1919-1939

Relli Shechter
Journal of Social History
Vol. 39, No. 2, Kith and Kin: Interpersonal Relationships and Cultural Practices (Winter, 2005), pp. 483-503
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3790779
Page Count: 21
  • Download ($42.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Reading Advertisements in a Colonial/Development Context: Cigarette Advertising and Identity Politics in Egypt, c1919-1939
Preview not available

Abstract

The article explores advertisements as a source for historical ethnography. It argues that ads serve this purpose well because they preserve the cultural repertoire of their intended audiences. By means of cigarette advertisements the article examines identity politics among a new, "middle" (effendi) stratum in Egypt--the cultural understanding of the effendiya is better tuned to inter-group distinctions and intra-group contradictions than earlier, more rigid economic and political definitions of an emerging middle-class. The analysis of contemporary smoking patterns in ads further reveals the methodological benefits of studying their "contextualized" meaning. In Egyptian culture the cigar was associated with elite and modern consumption patterns, the water-pipe with a lower class and traditional lifestyle, and the cigarette with the new group which was negotiating ways to be modern but authentic/local at the same time. Advertisers used such negotiations of binary oppositions to promote their cigarette brands to men; in their ads, cigarette smoking retained the earlier social etiquette of the water-pipe, while simultaneously being considered up-to-date and future oriented. The conservative nature of the business led advertisers to treat women's smoking as a "veiled" activity, to be taken in public only under the tutelage of men. Because smoking was associated with adult power, youth as a particular consumerist age was too contested to be openly promoted.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[483]
    [483]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
484
    484
  • Thumbnail: Page 
485
    485
  • Thumbnail: Page 
486
    486
  • Thumbnail: Page 
487
    487
  • Thumbnail: Page 
488
    488
  • Thumbnail: Page 
489
    489
  • Thumbnail: Page 
490
    490
  • Thumbnail: Page 
491
    491
  • Thumbnail: Page 
492
    492
  • Thumbnail: Page 
493
    493
  • Thumbnail: Page 
494
    494
  • Thumbnail: Page 
495
    495
  • Thumbnail: Page 
496
    496
  • Thumbnail: Page 
497
    497
  • Thumbnail: Page 
498
    498
  • Thumbnail: Page 
499
    499
  • Thumbnail: Page 
500
    500
  • Thumbnail: Page 
501
    501
  • Thumbnail: Page 
502
    502
  • Thumbnail: Page 
503
    503