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Being Young and MuslimNew Cultural Politics in the Global South and North$
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Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369212.001.0001

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Rebels without a Cause?: A Politics of Deviance in Saudi Arabia

Rebels without a Cause?: A Politics of Deviance in Saudi Arabia

(p.77) 5 Rebels without a Cause?: A Politics of Deviance in Saudi Arabia
Being Young and Muslim

Abdullah al-Otaibi

Pascal Ménoret

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses a particularly daring and dangerous yet common practice among male youth in Saudi Arabian cities: car skidding at high speed, or tafhit. It aims first to give a somewhat different reading of processes of politicization of male youth in the Middle East. Analyzing the criminalized practice of tafhit as a long-term and low-scale mob action, it shows that politicization may result from processes of deviance and desocialization. It then endeavors to break down the walls that, in the literature on politics in the Middle East, divide the Islamic movements from their environment. It eventually tries to retrace the narratives that allow young people to engage in an extremely dangerous and seemingly absurd activism.

Keywords:   Saudi Arabia, male youth, cities, deviance, car skidding, politicization

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