A Trade like Any Other by Karin van Nieuwkerk
Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See Reader Rating


In Egypt, singing and dancing are considered essential on happy occasions. Professional entertainers often perform at weddings and other celebrations, and a host family's prestige rises with the number, expense, and fame of the entertainers they hire. Paradoxically, however, the entertainers themselves are often viewed as disreputable people and are accorded little prestige in Egyptian society.

This paradox forms the starting point of Karin van Nieuwkerk's look at the Egyptian entertainment trade. She explores the lives of female performers and the reasons why work they regard as "a trade like any other" is considered disreputable in Egyptian society. In particular, she demonstrates that while male entertainers are often viewed as simply "making a living," female performers are almost always considered bad, seductive women engaged in dishonorable conduct. She traces this perception to the social definition of the female body as always and only sexual and enticing—a perception that stigmatizes women entertainers even as it simultaneously offers them a means of livelihood.


About Karin van Nieuwkerk

See more books from this Author
Karin van Nieuwkerk is an anthropologist and professor of contemporary Islam in Europe and the Middle East at the Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. She is the author of "A Trade like Any Other" Female Singers and Dancers in Egypt and editor of Women Embracing Islam: Gender and Conversion in the West and Muslim Rap, Halal Soaps, and Revolutionary Theater: Artistic Developments in the Muslim World.
Published July 5, 2010 by University of Texas Press. 240 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Gay & Lesbian, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Reader Rating for A Trade like Any Other

An aggregated and normalized score based on 8 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review