Lebanon Adrift : From Battleground to Playground
Lebanon today is at a fateful crossroads in its eventful socio-cultural and political history. Imperiled by unsettling transformations, from postwar reconstruction and rehabilitation to the forces of postmodernity and globalism, it remains adrift. In this landmark study, Samir Khalaf explores how ordinary citizens, burdened by the consequences of an ugly and unfinished war, persisting regional rivalries, mounting economic deprivation and diminishing prospects for well-being, find meaning and coherence in a society that has not only lost its moorings and direction, but also its sense of control. Khalaf argues that a mood of lethargy and indifference prevails, with a growing tendency for the Lebanese to seek refuge in religiosity, communalism and cloistered spatial identities, or temporary relief in the allure of mass consumerism.
- Electronic book text | 296 pages
- 28 May 2012
- SAQI BOOKS
- London, United Kingdom
Table of contents
Contents Preface by Ghassan Hageâ â â 7 Prologueâ 13 1. On Protracted and Displaced Collective Violence â 31 2. The Spaces of War and Postwar: Reflections on Collective Memory, Identity and Nostalgiaâ 75 3. Consumerism in a Traumatized Societyâ 115 4. Touting Luxury, Sensuality and Image â 161 5. The Allure of the Spectacle and Kitschâ â 210 6. Prospects for Transforming Consumers Into Citizens â 240 Epilogue â 267 Bibliography 275 Acknowledgments 287 Indexâ 289
About Samir Khalaf
Samir Khalaf is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Behavioral Research, American University of Beirut. He has held academic positions at Harvard University, Princeton University, MIT and New York University. His other books include Cultural Resistance, Heart of Beirut, Sexuality in the Arab World (co-edited with John H. Gagnon), Arab Society and Culture and Arab Youth (both co-edited with Roseanne Saad Khalaf), all by Saqi Books.