chapter  3
A moral laboratory: religion, family and social respectability Rabbi Eliyahu Hazan and the regulation of the Jewish marriage in
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In order to explore the process of embourgeoisement that Egyptian Jews underwent in a more familial and domestic dimension, I will now consider debates and writings on marriage and the family, religiosity, social respectability and gender. Mine is an attempt to expand in a cultural and gender historical sense the idea of Egyptian society as a laboratory as delineated in Omnia El Shakry’s The Great Social Laboratory. Focusing on the works and intellectual debates of pioneering Egyptian sociologists and anthropologists, El Shakry argued that the colonial era, and then the interwar period, marked ‘the formulation of “society” itself as an entity – an object of scientific study, social control and management’.1