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The Senior Seminar: Modernity and Morality

Name____________________________   ID #______________________________
Quiz 4
Think before you start – your answer MUST fit in the box!

How is having fun a political (and moral?) issue? (20 pts)

According to Bayat, fun is not just a simple doctrinal issue[1]. Indeed, fun and politics

are intertwined. He acknowledges that fun is closely related to the preservation of

power. Therefore, when having fun, the power regime on which the political and

moral authority is anchored is at stake. The political and moral authority is the

power wielded by the government and social-political groups. In this case, the

underlying political-moral authority have an influence on the decision to have

fun. A good example can be seen where Islamist students in Egypt disrupted fun

activities, harassing their colleagues who were engaging in fun activities. The

Islamist student unions banned fun activities such as dancing, classical music, and

popular films as they were perceived to be contrary to Islamic doctrines.


Bayat refers to an ingenious strategy by the youth called “subversive accommodation”. What does this mean? Provide examples. (20 pts)

“Subversive accommodation” refers to the ingenious strategy developed by the

youth in negotiating their freedoms and asserting their youthful habitus within the

constraints established by the authorities. These can be “accommodating strategies

that can be transformative. For instance, the Iranian youths portray subversive

accommodation during the highly charged ritual of Muharram. This is the ceremony

meant to commemorate the death of Imam Hussein. During this time, the youth

engage in “Hussein Parties” in which their intention is to turn the austere mourning

occasion into a fun-filled event. In Egypt, the youth take advantage of the urfi

(informal) marriage to fulfill their romance within the established order. Thus, they

are able to get around the moral restrictions on dating and formal marriage.

Choose the correct term from the words below and fill in the blanks in the sentences. (5 pts each)

If I accuse someone of for being too careless about following religious rules, I am accusing them of ________________________.


The __genesis__ of the Arab Spring was the suicide in Tunisia.


Adults, the older generation, usually have ____________________ over the young.

Official Quiz Stops Here
For those of you who have done badly on previous quizzes, here are some bonus questions. The vocabulary words are from Chapter 10 and there is a choice of one short essay. You may do ONLY ONE essay so choose the best one for you. Possible points = 25
Choose the correct term from the words below and fill in the blanks in the sentences. (5 pts each)
Ethos                                       Primordialist
Cosmopolitanism                    Instrumentalism
Cultural Demarcation

Dress, or how much skin a person shows in public, has become a line of

____ Cultural Demarcation__ for many Emiratis.

Sadly, there are many examples of _ Instrumentalism_ in the world today as tribes in Kenya attack each other, Sunni and Shi’i fight in Iraq and Syria, and the ethnically Russian in Ukraine battle to separate from the country.


The many nationalities that live in the UAE have contributed to the

nation’s ___ Cosmopolitanism _.
Circle the question that you are answering
B 1.
What does the author means by “anti-fun-damentalism”? Is he referring to a group or an ideology?
B 2.
What are the approaches in the battle against fun?

When Bayet talks about “anti-fun-damentalism,” he refers to the concept that is historical in

nature. In essence, this is an aspect that revolves around the need to preserve power. Here, he

meant that the issue is not the disruption of the moral order as it is presumed. However, there

is the burning desire to protect the hegemony that forms the core on which both the political

and moral authority if founded. This authority refers to both government, individual, as well

as social-political movements. In this case, the individuals may include the sheikhs or cult

leaders. All these are the ones who gain legitimacy in the deployment of a given doctrinal

paradigm. Therefore, it can be argued that Bayat was referring to an ideology that is meant to

protect certain interests when he talked about “anti-fun-damentalism.” This ideology is

highly protected by what he calls moralpolitical authority[2].


[1] Bayat, Asef. Life as politics. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2013, p. 131
[2] Bayat, p. 131

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