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A New Old Damascus : Authenticity and Distinction in Urban Syria - Christa Salamandra

A New Old Damascus

Authenticity and Distinction in Urban Syria

Paperback Published: 10th December 2004
ISBN: 9780253217226
Number Of Pages: 216

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" F]illed with rare encounters with Syria's oldest, most elite families. Critics of anthropology's taste for exoticism and marginality will savor this study of upper-class Damascus, a world that is urbane and cosmopolitan, yet in many ways as remote as the settings in which the best ethnography has traditionally been done.... Written] with a nuanced appreciation of the cultural forms in question and how Damascenes themselves think, talk about, and create them." -- Andrew Shryock

In contemporary urban Syria, debates about the representation, preservation, and restoration of the Old City of Damascus have become part of status competition and identity construction among the city's elite. In theme restaurants and nightclubs that play on images of Syrian tradition, in television programs, nostalgic literature, and visual art, and in the rhetoric of historic preservation groups, the idea of the Old City has become a commodity for the consumption of tourists and, most important, of new and old segments of the Syrian upper class. In this lively ethnographic study, Christa Salamandra argues that in deploying and debating such representations, Syrians dispute the past and criticize the present.

Indiana Series in Middle East Studies -- Mark Tessler, general editor

"Filled with rare encounters with Syria's oldest, most elite families. Critics of anthropology's taste for exoticism and marginality will savor this study of upper-class Damascus, a world that is urbane and cosmopolitan, yet in many ways as remote as the settings in which the best ethnography has traditionally been done.... [Written] with a nuanced appreciation of the cultural forms in question and how Damascenes themselves think, talk about, and create them." - Andrew Shryock"

Introduction: A Return to the Old
"His Family Had a House in Malki, So We Thought He Was All Right": Socio-Spatial Distinction
"That Color Looks Great on You": Consumption, Display, and Gender
Old Damascus Commodified
Ramadan Lived and Consumed
Conservation, Preservation, and Celebration
Conclusion: Weapons of the Not-So-Weak
Epilogue: Of Hubble Bubbles and Cell Phones
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780253217226
ISBN-10: 0253217229
Series: Indiana Series in Middle East Studies
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 216
Published: 10th December 2004
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.88  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.34