EGYCLASS is an International Research Network that aims at providing a comprehensive analysis of social classes in Egypt. While this country has gone into disruptive political and economic transformations since the 2011 Revolution, little is known about the social impacts of these transformations. A systematic and multi-dimensional study is needed to understand how the social morphology is quickly changing. EGYCLASS tackles central issues such as: How have increasing economic inequalities reshaped the space of social positions and affected the living conditions of many Egyptians? What is the reality and current developments of the mythicized ‘middle class’? How can poverty be better understood through an approach that embraces the fundamental heterogeneity of ‘popular’ classes? As for the elites, do they remain in an unshakeable position or are some of its fractions also witnessing downgrading?
Building on existing links and scientific exchanges between leading researchers in sociology, anthropology, political science, history and economics, the network associates 6 institutions: CEDEJ (France), the Department of Sociology and Anthropology of the American University in Cairo (Egypt), the Orient Institute Beirut (OIB, Germany), the Society and Culture in Motion research cluster (SCM, University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany), the Centre for Anthropological Research on Affect and Materiality (CARAM, Ghent University, Belgium) and the Department of Social Anthropology of Oslo University (Norway). It also associates more than 60 individual researchers, from different backgrounds and generations.
Combining quantitative and qualitative methods, the project aims to develop the first social class research infrastructure in Egypt that will serve as an innovative baseline for a multitude of works in various disciplinary fields, as well as for international comparisons and policy alternatives.