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Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria
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Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  126 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In Syria, the image of President Hafiz al-Asad is everywhere. In newspapers, on television, and during orchestrated spectacles Asad is praised as the "father," the "gallant knight," even the country's "premier pharmacist." Yet most Syrians, including those who create the official rhetoric, do not believe its claims. Why would a regime spend scarce resources on a cult whose ...more
Paperback, 251 pages
Published June 15th 1999 by University Of Chicago Press
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أحمد عبد الفتاح

في فصل خاص من كتابها: "السيطرة الغامضة؛ السياسة، الخطاب، والرموز في سورية المعاصرة" تفرد الباحثة ليزا وادين عدة صفحات ثمينة للحديث عن مظاهر الطاعة التي كان نظام حافظ الأسد يطالب بها مواطنيه، أو يقوم بها مواطنيه دون أن يطلب منهم أحد ذلك. في حالات كثيرة ذكرتها الباحثة تتم المبالغة بوضع صورة حافظ على السيارة أو مدخل المتجر أو كتابة دعاء له، أو المزايدة أثناء نقاش ما يحدث فيه تمجيد لشخصية تاريخية كبيرة كصلاح الدين فيخرج التساؤل تلقائيًا ولماذا لا تكيل هذا المديح للقائد حافظ الأسد؟!!ـ هذه الحاجة الأب
الكتاب ليس سردا تاريخيا (وان كان يستعين بذكر بعض الحوادث التي تساعد في ايصال الفكرة) ، هو دراسة أكاديمية و تفكيك لطرق سيطرة النظام السوري عبر التحكم بالخطاب و لما لظاهرة تقديس الأسد من دور في هذه السيطرة (الناعمة) .. الترجمة لم تعجبني كثيرا
Bassam Kassouma
Jul 19, 2015 Bassam Kassouma rated it really liked it
This book was given/ recommended by a friend which read the book during her middle-eastern studies.

The book is based on witnessed facts, that Syrians themselves were not able to distinguish during that time.

I was laughing the whole time i was reading this book, due to a simple fact that these things were happening and I wasn't aware of them.

The book is not 100% accurate; nevertheless the book provided an insider view of Syria under strict authoritarian rule.

Most importantly, this book emphasizes
Summer Brennan
Aug 23, 2014 Summer Brennan rated it liked it
I'm only giving this book three stars, BUT - it's a great read for anyone curious to learn more about current politics in Syria.
Kristine Gift
Nov 17, 2014 Kristine Gift rated it it was amazing
Fascinating read. I read this for a course on professional historical study as well as for a class on Modern Syria; both courses had more than enough to talk about and on totally different subjects, for the entire 3 hour seminar. Applicable to many different settings, and a very engaging read which is high praise for an academic work.
Feb 17, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it
Super cool topic, pretty difficult read. Still, if you stick with it, it's really rewarding. If you find the personality cults of Asad, Saddam, Khomeini, etc. intriguing and wonder why and under what circumstances people participate in them, this is the book for you! Her discussions about comics and jokes are especially fun.
Jun 01, 2009 gokce rated it it was ok

"This book argues that Asad's cult is a strategy of domination based on compliance rather than legitimacy. The regime produces compliance through enforced participation in rituals of obeisance that are transparently phony both to those who orchestrate them and to those who consume them. Asad's cult operates as a disciplinary device, generating a politics of public dissimulation in which citizens act as if they revere the leader. A politics of 'as if' while it may appear irrational or foolish at
Jan 26, 2011 Letitia rated it really liked it
Shelves: textbooks
A very interesting look at the cult of Hafiz al Assad in Syria during the 1990s. Calls up interesting questions about state control, censorship, and dissidence. One has to ask what keeps the Syrian populace, who, by Wedeen's argument are almost universally opposed to Assad, in check? Somehow the system of control exerted by the party has become a self-perpetuating system. Particularly liked Wedeen's look at humor, satire and parody to illustrate oppositional sentiment.Ultimately she doesn't sati ...more
Nov 08, 2014 Edith rated it really liked it
Shelves: pol-soc
Well written, but better for a specialized audience.
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Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago specializing in comparative politics, the Middle East, political theory, and feminist theory. Wedeen received her Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied with Hanna Pitkin. She has taught courses on nationalism, identity formation, power and resistance, and citizenship. Her work on the Middl ...more
More about Lisa Wedeen...

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“من الممكن فهم كيف يوظف نظام سلطوي لا يتمتع بالكاريزما الرموز والبلاغة لإنتاج السلطة السياسية بما يساهم في استمراريته. وحقيقة أن الأسد بقي في الحكم منذ عام 1970 دليل على فاعلية هذه الاستراتيجية .” 3 likes
“لقد توصل الباحثين إلى أن الاستعانة بالرموز التي لها قيمة ثقافية وتاريخية لمجتمع ما, يمكن أن تساعد في زيادة "شرعية" نظام محدد. وإذا كانوا يعنون "بالشرعية" شعبية النظام أو كونه الأكثر ملائمة, فهم يقولون بأن النظام يحاول أن يرتبط بعقول الشعب من خلال رموز ثقافية لها أصداؤها, كما انها تحمل معاني شعورية بطريقة مفضلة للمواطنين.” 3 likes
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