Exploring the similarities and differences between and across masculinities in the Middle East and the West, Postcolonial Masculinities avoids the constant reinforcement of divisions and stereotypes created by the process of 'othering' and the problematic discourse of the clash of civilisations, examining instead how subjectivities in Western and Arab societies are intertwined, operating through envy of the other and the desire to be at once the same and yet fundamentally separate. With a focus on England and Egypt, this book reveals the manner in which masculinities are shaped in and through a history of colonialism and postcolonialism, irrespective of colour, ethnicity, religion, class, sexuality, or the wishes of the individual. By concentrating on the shared ground of postcolonial, masculine subjectivities, Postcolonial Masculinities looks beyond the dissonance often iterated between the apparently rational Western man and the apparently oppressive, patriarchal Middle Eastern man. Shedding light on the shared and distinctive aspects of masculinities across the Middle East and the West, whilst illuminating the influences upon them, this book will appeal to social scientists with interests in cultural studies, masculinities, psychoanalytic theory, gender and sexuality, and colonialism and postcolonialism.
’This book is an extraordinary achievement. Kabesh manages at once to convey the overlapping histories of British and Egyptian masculinities and their distinct character. Interweaving autobiography - her own and others’ - history, psychoanalysis, fiction, sociology and ethnography, Kabesh troubles masculinity, while exploring its complex investments and our investments in it. This text unsettles our assumptions about men, about cultural difference, and about how we relate to one another at the profoundest level.’ Clare Hemmings, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK ’Amal Treacher Kabesh has written a remarkable and timely book. Rooted in her family experience, in political history and in psychosocial studies, it lovingly and yet excoriatingly interrogates contemporary emotional life. Her account of Egyptian and British masculinities provides an incisive analysis of what it means, as Eastern� or Western� subjects, to live in the shadow of the other.’ Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck College, UK