Technology and Engineering
  • ISSN: 2333-2581
  • Modern Environmental Science and Engineering

The No-Power Expressions: The impact of Refugees’ (Im-)Material Culture on Decoding the Urban Image of Alexandria

Iman Hegazy1, Ossama Hegazy2, and Amro Yaghi3,4
1. Bauhaus-University, Weimar, Germany
2. Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
3. University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom

4. University of Petra, Amman, Jordan

Abstract: “The elephant in the room” states Robert Chambers [1] to address “Power”; a standpoint matching Foucault’s hypothesis: “power is everywhere” [2-9]. Chambers emphasizes the “convening” power type: “power to empowerment” [1]— a contribution to the four previously established ones: power “over”, “to”, “with” and “within” [10].
  All five provide an understanding of the power discourse, especially regarding impact on the society material culture and the city urban image — that is, however, a top-down approach taking a hierarchical powerful-powerless orientation. In contrast, the paper tackles the topic by undertaking an opposite bottom-up/powerless-powerful perspective. It investigates the “no-power expressions” of refugees in Alexandria, Egypt, in order to question the impact of their immaterial culture on the material one of the host society. 

  To methodologically understand the target group, ethnographic expert, focused and narrative “episode interviews” have been conducted [11]. Alexandria is the case study and two of the researchers’ hometown, which allows following the “participant observation” process. The abovementioned power types have been considered to discover not only the refugees' nonphysical public, private and intimate realms of (no-)power expressions [10] but also their influence on the production of the coded material urban image of the city; according to Eco [12,13].

Key words: power expression, material culture, forced migration/integration

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