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Blurring boundaries

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a close translation of the author's field notes from one of the two sessions she attended at Zeynabiyeh. The author took notes as the ritual was in progress and presents these translation with some editing and a few added comments. The italics are verbatim translations from the author tape recordings. The women who attend Zeynabiyeh are not just the economically marginalized, but from a cross section of society. It was contradicted by the economic and social range of women who visited Mrs Sabri, which is an indication of the cultural legitimacy of religious healing and the conviction that it is efficacious, irrespective of a person's social class or economic position. Mrs Sabri's public performance of caring labour demonstrates women's stake in social reproduction. The significance is that life and growth are divorced from procreation and shifted to the realm of social reproduction.

Keywords: cultural legitimacy; religious healing; social reproduction; women's caring labour official texts; Zeynabiyeh



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