The Ambiguous State: Gender and Citizenship as Barter in Algeria

Diogenes 57 (1):73-82 (2010)
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This essay proposes a re-reading of the process of establishing the post-colonial nation-state in Algeria, and of the dynamics of citizenship in the light of gender, in order to illuminate the hesitations of the political class as to the meaning of the principle of universal emancipation and sexual equality in the private sphere of personal status. Whereas up to now readings studying the nature of the Algerian political regime and its ideological discourse have been solely concerned with denouncing the "moribund" character of modernism and/or "Algerian-style" socialism, the argument will deal mainly with the private domestic sphere in order to expose ideological references and representations that are decidedly traditionalist, if not archaic, as regards gender relations in the Algerian family, idealized by the legislation underlying the Family Code (1984/2005). Finally a detailed review, based on an analysis by gender, of the minutes of parliamentary debates in the legislatures from 1982 to 1984 will demonstrate the highly patriarchal nature of the cultural representations of Algeria’s decision-makers, who are reluctant to extend "modernization" to the female population



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Toward a Rational Society.Jèurgen Habermas - 1971 - Oxford, England: Polity.

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