The Making of a Shiite Bourgeoisie in Lebanon Political Mobilisation, Economic Resources and Formation of a Social Group
Author(s)Bortolazzi, Omar <1972>
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AbstractThe thesis analyses the making of the Shiite middle- and upper/entrepreneurial-class in Lebanon from the 1960s till the present day. The trajectory explores the historical, political and social (internal and external) factors that brought a sub-proletariat to mobilise and become an entrepreneurial bourgeoisie in the span of less than three generations. This work proposes the main theoretical hypothesis to unpack and reveal the trajectory of a very recent social class that through education, diaspora, political and social mobilisation evolved in a few years into a very peculiar bourgeoisie: whereas Christian-Maronite middle class practically produced political formations and benefited from them and from Maronite’s state supremacy (National Pact, 1943) reinforcing the community’s status quo, Shiites built their own bourgeoisie from within, and mobilised their “cadres” (Boltanski) not just to benefit from their renovated presence at the state level, but to oppose to it. The general Social Movement Theory (SMT), as well as a vast amount of the literature on (middle) class formation are therefore largely contradicted, opening up new territories for discussion on how to build a bourgeoisie without the state’s support (Social Mobilisation Theory, Resource Mobilisation Theory) and if, eventually, the middle class always produces democratic movements (the emergence of a social group out of backwardness and isolation into near dominance of a political order). The middle/upper class described here is at once an economic class related to the control of multiple forms of capital, and produced by local, national, and transnational networks related to flows of services, money, and education, and a culturally constructed social location and identity structured by economic as well as other forms of capital in relation to other groups in Lebanon.
Bortolazzi, Omar (2015) The Making of a Shiite Bourgeoisie in Lebanon Political Mobilisation, Economic Resources and Formation of a Social Group, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Storia <http://amsdottorato.unibo.it/view/dottorati/DOT492/>, 27 Ciclo.