A Network on Social Classes (coord: Marie Vannetzel)

EGYCLASS is an International Research Network that aims at providing a comprehensive analysis of social classes in Egypt, building on existing links and scientific exchanges between leading researchers in sociology, anthropology, political science, history and economics.

The network associates more than 70 individual researchers and 6 institutions:

  • CEDEJ (Egypt/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).

Activities are organized around 4 axes:

Axis 1: Socio-history of classifications (coord: Malak Labib and Pierre France)

Axis 2: Space and class (coord: Deena Khalil and Agnès Deboulet)

Axis 3: Ethnography of social classes (coord: Nada El Kouny, Chaymaa Hassabo and Aymon Kreil)

Axis 4: Elites and dominant classes (coord: Giedrė Šabasevičiūtė and Marine Poirier)



Coming soon


  • June (date to be defined) IFAO – Egyclass Axis 1: “Repenser l’histoire de l’Égypte républicaine”

A conference organized by Malak Labib

  • Spring (date to be defined): Axis 3 Writing Residency 
  • January (date to be defined): Talk on Education

Past Events


  • November 9-10 – Cultural Capital and Class Recognition, CEDEJ, Cairo.

Axis 4 Workshop organized by Marine Poirier, Giedrė Šabasevičiūtė, Daniele Cantini and Marie Vannetzel. Program available here.

  • September 26-27 – Side-Event to the Forum Insaniyyat, Tunis.

Collective work to elaborate Commented Bibliographies around social classes.

  • June 22-24 – 15th Congress of SESAMO (Società per gli studi sul Medio Oriente), Napoli.

Panel “Class, a Useful Category for Ethnography? Case Studies from Egypt and Morocco”, organized by Aymon Kreil and Yasmine Berriane. Program available here.


  • Monthly Group Meetings

Several monthly meetings online were organized throughout the year, with two kinds of workshops: presentations of work in progress and seminars dedicated to reading and discussing texts together.

January 24 – Axis 3 – Marriage Strategies, reading seminar.

February 7 – Axis 3 –  Class Education, reading seminar.

March 7 – Axis 3 – Why do we need the concept class?, presentation by Farha Ghannam.

April 14 – Axis 1 – History and sociology of professions in Egypt, presentations by Elisabeth Longuenesse and Sylvia Chiffoleau.

May 2 – Axis 3 – Class, Workers, Upheaval, reading seminar.

May 16 – Axis 1 – Sociological Profiles of the Middling Citizen (al-muwāṭin al-basīṭ): The Toolbox of Egyptian Sociology during the Nasser Years (1952-1970), presentation by Antoinette Ferrand.

May 23 – Axis 2 – Data sources and methods for studying the space-class nexus in Egypt, presentations by Deena Khalil and Corten Perez-Houis.

June 13 – Axis 3 – Class distinctions inside the households, presentations by Dalila Ghodbane, Noha Mokhtar and Lina El-Shamy.



  • December 5-7: Conference “Studying the Social Classes in Egypt”, CEDEJ-IFAO, Cairo.
    Public event: program available here.

Rountable OIB-CEDEJ: “Statistics and the social classes”: program available here.

Internal workshops by axes: program available here.

  • Monthly Group Meetings

July 5 – Axis 3 – “Humum al-Mowatin”, presentations by Assia Boutaleb and Daniele Cantini.

September 6 – Axis 3 – Modernity and the New Middle Classes, reading seminar.

October 4 – Axis 3 – Around the book Heiman et al. The Global Middle Classes, presentation by Samuli Schielke.

  • March 22: Lauching Event, KMT House, Cairo.
    Kick-off meeting of the network, Check this video.