mercoledì 3 aprile 2013

Analysing cultural dimension inside the Egyptian struggle between young revolutionaries and Muslim brotherhood.

Analysing cultural dimension inside the political struggling of Egypt.

This article refers to a article appear inside the Algerian newspaper El Watan on 23 March 2013 with the title: " la colère des "révolutionnaires" contre les islamistes s'aggrave". The anger of the youth is the result of a weak-face as a sense of abandonment and where the things do not depend on me as a cultural dimension from the Hostede model ( Hofstede, 2001).

 This feeling of "nothing done" represent in a certain measure the impossibility of reduction of social distance between people in power and people battling for social justice and political pluralism in this political scenario. The notion of time, in Mediterranean news-report reporting, like " deux ans après..." from my cultural analysis represent two necessity: the first one is a strong need of contextualisation inside a culture characterise by high-context according to Hall (1966).
 The second need is to refuse this permanent cultural dimension named "long-term orientation" in decision making. This attitude can't be adopted any more from the young revolutionaries prospective.
In this article, we see the emergence of a strong polarisation of the debate between the Muslim brotherhood as a party and the young revolutionaries. This radicalization could be a way to remove the real reason of this awakening inside many country inside the Arab world. In other words, the need of social justice and redistribution of well is not present on the political agenda of new government like in Egypt. The preference for big theory in term of cultural dimension prevent the "in-group" in power to face the everyday problems inside the Mediterranean context.
In this context, the young protesters use the violence as a way to obtain some result in a short-term orientation way putting in crisis this cultural dimension present in Mediterranean setting where the decision are taking slowly in order to tire the opposing group.
The revolution are only in the hand of " young-revolutionaries" group as a cultural trait of a "in-group" culture and the Muslim brotherhood in power are the continuity with the precedent regime as a element of "out-group" relationship. This situation represent a strong threat for the collective face of the young  revolutionaries Egyptian in search of face-acknoledgment for the righteousness of their struggle.
 In this context, we can see the impossibility of having our destiny into our hand as a typical result in the Mediterranean context in line with the Hofstede cultural model. The young protesters are fighting against a system of political repression and they are looking for more political pluralism. This discourse from the youth is located in line with the idea of citizenship present for example in Meridian Thought of Franco Cassano. In this context, this request represent a threat for the negative face of the Muslim Brotherhood with their motivation of introducing Islamic values inside the constitutional text in Egypt. This notion of " beaf" is a constant sign of long-term orientation in term of cultural dimension and a sign of a persistent social distance as a immutable point inside the relationship in societies where persons are described as a member of "inside-group" or "outside-group".
The article talk about " c'est devenue une guerre de rues" mean that the battles are searching to gain some result in short term orientation while the Muslim brother are trying to "delegitimate" the collective face of the revolutionary young. This attitude represent a way of "desintegrate" the struggle as a way of pushing away a reduction of social distance between youth and Muslim Brotherhood.
In this article, we can see this permanent tendency to see the citizen as non-competent about political affairs and in consequences it's still weak in front of the "in-groups" members of the "palazzo" as political institution ( Pasolini,1991).
On this moment, it's appear that the search for a reduction of social distance are allocated not in face of the State building but in front of Muslim Brotherhood Party building. The bitterness of a protester in my view is correlated with the feeling of impossibility to avoid uncertainty as a cultural dimension in Hofstede terms.
The political idea of the young protesters represent a need of face-acknowledgement for their values. In opposition, we see the tendency of silencing the protesters from the movement of Muslim brotherhood as a strong degree of imposition ( Brown and Levinson, 1987) in using a strong uncertainty avoidance in term of cultural dimension. This element of strong uncertainty avoidance as a tendency to intolerance in front of different idea has the consequences that peoples with different idea are dangerous for the "in-group" perception of the reality.

 This cultural dimension put in evidence the difficulty to separate idea from the way to " be with and for" a person ( Duranti, 2007) with the implication that threatening a idea means immediately threatening the need of preservation face territory ( negative face) of the interlocutors.
In all the article, the notion of power relationship is very present in the purposes of the youth manifestants.The power need to legitimate this position because on this time we have a struggle for a new asset in term of cultural dimension between power not legitimitate as a state of fact and a new kind of power where legitimacy is a important duties. This point is a crucial point in order to evaluate the benefit of this period of societal change in Egypt.

The notion of conflict is correlated with the idea that only in this situation we see the way "to be for" a person as a individual and not only as group members. When the conflict became personal, it can be translated with the idea of intolerance for different ideas and people or groups where the emergence of different idea are dangerous for our way of understanding the reality. In this circumstance, we need to eradicate different believe inside our society in term of preservation our vision of social harmony in line with our need of territory preservation.
 The political use of social media for the young protesters allow a possibility of legitimate and acknowledge the need of reduction or elimination of the social distance between youth and other groups like Muslim brotherhood or military force. The use of social media give a positive face to the movement because they create a kind of continuity with the revolt against Mubarak regime. The need of legitimate our action represent a way of reducing again social distance between young and the rest of the population. The revolt is the only way available in order to be hear into a context with strong degree of imposition ( Brown, Levison, 1987) and where the political regime can be remove only by radical change as the result of a high degree of social distance inside Egyptian society.
In this article, a young protester claims the use of religion for obtaining material and immaterial goods coming from Muslim Brotherhood against the position of the young protesters.
 In my approach, we can see a cultural dimension in this statement because the notion of religion is linked with the idea of ultimate truth and the use of religion as a argument would signify that I am right and you are wrong. The consequences  of this orientation is the possibility of deny your reality as a disbelief because in this context it's not present a relative approach to the reality and the religious argumentation permit to reinforce our "in-group" face against the young revolutionaries.
Even the notion of "liar", used by a protesters during this newspaper article, is link with the cultural dimension of a  strong uncertainty avoidance because we believe in ultimate truth in egyptian society. In line with the cultural dimension of Hofstede, the truth in a weak avoidance uncertainty context it is something to be found instead in a strong avoidance uncertainty culture, the truth are not negotiable because we belong to ultimate truth and big theoretical idea. This struggle in term of cultural dimension represent a strong threat in order to establish a possibility of dialogue between this social groups in term of offering some "face-saving" for both groups in order to re-establish face after this long time of face-loss for both side.
 This necessity of dialogue is a urge request present inside the book " Meridian Thought" of Cassano in order to create a Mediterranean area of exchange of meaning between groups that belong to different tradition.
following this article, a young called Farid claims about a "absence of rule of law" which represent a request in line with the lexicon of civic right and not from a confessional terminology.
This claim represent a threat for the need of face-acknowledgement inside the brotherhood groups where the need of introduction Islamic values inside the political life seen to be a very relevant point inside their political agenda. The employment of big theory and the use of religion represent a strong strategy in term of avoidance of social request like reduce social injustice between citizens.
In common in this article as in "The Sicilians revue" the word "absence" of the State is a strong threat in term of citizen competence as a cultural request in term of getting a sense of control over their lives.

 In this historical moment of societal change, the people in Mediterranean area feels competent instead the political authority still thinking about the incompetence of the citizen as a permanent cultural dimension inside their community. The consequences of this absence, it's a recourse to violence in Egypt as a way for groped to obtain  shortly a response in opposition with the cultural dimension of long-term orientation present inside this cultural area. In all this article appear a vocabulary coming from a civic tradition with words like: oppression, justice, injustice, social struggle, violence.
This vocabulary is clearly in opposition with the confessional understanding of the life from other party like Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist party.
The Muslim Brotherhood as a party try to mitigate ( Caffi, 1999) all this blow in term of negative face trying to delegitimate the competence of the youth changing their way to refer to the name-groups from "young revolutionaries" to "gangstar". The way to nominate group represent a very sensitive strategy for create a new agentivity of the situation ( Duranti, 2009). In this manner, Muslim Brothers put outside of the citizen competences as a cultural dimension the entire youth movement.
In this article, we encounter the notion of " true revolutionner" which imply the presence of "false revolutionary" in line with the cultural dimension of having in our hand "ultimate truth". The manifestation in the suburb of Cairo represent a form of rebalancing a relationship between the young revolutionaries and the power party of Muslim brotherhood. The legitimacy of the power for the Muslim brotherhood come from the winning democratic election took place in the country during the year of 2012. From the younger prospective, this is a reductionist way of looking to politics only linked with the electoral events. This tendency could be read as a cultural dimension where the politicians look the political context only in terms of short term orientation.This way of power legitimacy seen to be in crisis in this historical moment where most of the population would like to evaluate the ability of the government in term of offering political solution to the economics problems. The new president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, use his power with a strong degree of imposition as a institution in front of the positive face of the protesters. This behaviour put this president coming from the civil society in continuity with the precedent president Mubarak and in conformity with the strong social distance present between power institution and citizens.

This way of managing the social conflict represent a strong threatening to the collective face of the youth movement in term of achievement for their struggle. This struggle represent a opposition to the long term orientation culture ( Hofstede,1991 ) as a collective programmation of the mind to resolve problems in this geographical area called Mediterranean area. The youth protesters need a short-term orientation decision culture and the Muslim Brotherhood are looking for a long-term orientation decision in order to diminish the youth motivation and to preserve a sense of immutability as a cultural trait in this geographical area. The positive face situation for the youth movement can be understood in this context for example in fact like: the elimination of people happen in front of the presidential building as if the State are acting like a murderer, when we talk about the increase of economic crisis and the insecurity inside the country. This facts represent a forms of threatening to the need of positive face for the new government.
 In this context, the social situation represent a threatening for both groups in term of face acknowledgement: the government seems to paid strong cost in term of positive face because of it's inability to make political proposition and for the young movement this situation represent a threatening to the need of face-acknowledgement because their struggle have produce very few concrete results in terms of everyday problem solution. The recourse to the "street" as a cultural dimension in term of achieving in short-term orientation what need to be achieve with long-term orientation like reconciliation and dialogue between different political prospectives.
We see in this circumstances the strong tendency to avoid uncertainty with the presence of intolerance with direct consequences to eliminate the face-person linked with other political and society idea. Nora Bakr argue that the nervous situation in Egypt is correlated with a "the demonization of the other, and the trivialization of bloodshed " where demonization is a cultural dimension of ultimate truth as a strong tendency to avoid uncertainty and the trivialization mean few attention to your well-being.

The request for change can be understood in my view as a need to short-term orientation in term of solving everyday problems against a typical disposition to use social distance power in order to make long-term orientation decision as a normal behaviour in Mediterranean context.
The dilemma is to reconcile the need of economics solution and reduction of social distance in one hand and the need to Muslim Brotherhood to introduce islamic values inside the political life of Egypt.


Brown, P., Levinson, S. Politeness: Some universals in language usage, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987

Duranti, A. Etnopragmatica. La forza nel parlare, Roma, Carocci, 2007

 El Watan, (23/03/2013), Egypte: la colère des "révolutionnaires" contre les islamistes s'aggrave

Hall, E."Hidden dimension", New-York, Garden City, 1966

Hofstede, G. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind, London,McGraw Hill, 1991 

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutionsand Organizations across Nations,Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2001

Pasolini, P.P., Lettere luterane, Roma, Unità\Einaudi,1991.

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