Sabine Bauer-Amin: Coping with Cairo’s Uncertainties. Young Political Dissidents between Forging Their Futures and Dealing with the Past


Based on ethnographic fieldwork among young dissidents and affiliates to opposition networks in Cairo after the 2011 revolution, this article shows the relationship of multiple influence factors involved in coping. It documents the conflicts of belonging while trying to cope with enduring uncertainty. It scrutinises which resources they could mobilise, to what aim, and by which means, while positioning themselves along shifting perceptions of belonging and differentiation. I argue that ways of coping are pre-framed by the social fragmentation of the city and access to resources due to one’s social positioning. Therefore, although these strategies often reproduce existing power relations, they also have the potential to question them. Times of uncertainty open the space for new ways of agency, especially for dealing with liminalities. As coping practices interact with expressions of belonging and differentiation, they can affect future positioning.

[Egypt, uncertainty, belonging, coping, social change]

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