Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780745333588 Published February 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $115.00 ISBN: 9780745333595 Published February 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada

Becoming Arab in London

Performativity and the Undoing of Identity

Ramy M. K. Aly

Becoming Arab in London

Ramy M. K. Aly

Distributed for Pluto Press

280 pages | 12 halftones | 5 1/4 x 8 1/2 | © 2015
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780745333588 Published February 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
Cloth $115.00 ISBN: 9780745333595 Published February 2015 For Sale in All Americas and the Caribbean except Canada
In this, the first ethnographic exploration of gender, race, and class practices among British-born or British-raised Arabs in London, Ramy M. K. Aly looks critically at the idea of “Arab-ness” and the ways in which London produces, marks, and understands ethnic subjects. Looking at everyday experiences, Becoming Arab in London explores the lives of young people and the ways in which they perform or achieve Arab ethnicity. Aly uncovers narratives of growing up in London, the codes of sociability at Shisha, and the sexual politics and ethnic self-portraits that construct British-Arab men and women.
            Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, Aly emphasizes the need to move away from the concept of identity and toward the idea of race, gender, and class as performance. Based on seven years of fieldwork, during which time the author immersed himself in London’s Arab community, Becoming Arab in London is an innovative and necessary contribution to the study of diaspora and difference in contemporary Britain.
Contents

Introduction
1. Critical Junctures in the Making of Arab London
2. Learning to be Arab: Growing Up in London
3. Going For Shisha: Doing Ethnicity, Gender & Class
4. Dancing Class: Choreographing Arabness in London
5. Reclaiming the Orient Through the Diasporic Gaze
6. Performativity and The Undoing of Identity.
Bibliography
Notes
Index

Review Quotes
CritCom
"Aly argues convincingly that 'becoming Arab in London' is a process by which race, class, and gender are inextricably comingled in the interpellation and performances of young British Arabs in London. Becoming Arab in London is full of insightful examinations of the inner lives and outer practices of the young people it documents and reveals much about the contemporary conditions of Arab youth in London. It also serves as an example of a theoretical toolkit and methodological practice for scholars of diverse contemporary societies who wish to give attention to gendered, raced, and classed subjects, without reifying the terms of their subjectification. As such, it should be of broad interest to all those interested in diasporic identities and contemporary ethnography."
American Antrhopologist
"Through narratives and informal histories, Aly explicates the complex ways in which local raced experiences, gendered familial expectations, and international conflicts such as the Gulf War coalesce to shape how 'ethnicized' forms of masculinity and femininity are recited."
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