Entropy and exclusivity: gender and change in the retail environment, Alexandria, Egypt (1970-2011)

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Humanities
Department Languages & Literature
Author Snider, Marika Dalley
Title Entropy and exclusivity: gender and change in the retail environment, Alexandria, Egypt (1970-2011)
Date 2012-12
Description As one of the most visible signs of the modern world, the myriad of shopping places and types can be considered as a valuable lens through which to examine the contemporary city. In Alexandria, Egypt, the situation was particularly interesting because retail space was moving in two polarized directions: exclusivity and entropy. First, there was an emphasis on creating high-end restricted modern space while at the same time, low-end retail, both modern and traditional, were proliferating and becoming less organized. The high-end modern retail created exclusive spaces in which traditional forms of gendered space could be upheld, although in a reconfigured manner. On the other hand, the proliferation of lower-end retail space allowed greater female participation in consumerism but in an increasingly insecure situation. Insecurity took many forms including lack of personal safety, price volatility, unpredictable earnings, and an unreliable supply of goods. This dissertation will examine how the retail spaces in Alexandria affected gendered space and how ideas about space were reconfigured to allow women to navigate the modern globalized world without abandoning their status or virtue. This research specifically targets the difference between the shopping mall, as the embodiment of high-end retail, and the urban shopping street, as popular retail space. Through these two environments, we will see how they are defined in opposition to each other, particularly in terms of status, and their appropriateness for women, and how they are gendered differently. Specifically this research will examine the extent to which the genders mix, in terms of goods sold, shoppers, and shop workers, as well as the extent to which women are allowed privacy. This will show how the retail environment of Alexandria responded to its citizens' desires to be modern and globalized through both the creation of exclusive spaces and devolution into chaotic zones.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Alexandria, Egypt; Gender; Informal economy; Malls; Modernity; Retail space; Middle Eastern history; Architecture; Gender studies
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Marika Dalley Snider
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 4,569,277 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2108
ARK ark:/87278/s6hq4dq9
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-01-15
Date Modified 2021-05-06
ID 195793
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6hq4dq9