chapter  9
Scandal and Dialogical Network: What Does Morality Do to Politics? About the Islamic Headscarf within the Egyptian Parliament
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This chapter aims to analyse the mechanisms specific to the birth, the swelling and the dying out of the particular public phenomenon of the scandal, as it can be observed within an Egyptian environment. Whilst normative assessments are made routinely, when aired in the public arena, these evaluations can create or reinforce reputations when positive, or undermine credibility when negative. In the public arena, the media constitute a means through which judgements concerning reputation can amplify and take the dimension of a scandal. Moreover, we recently examined how, together with the media, the Egyptian People’s Assembly, the lower chamber of the Egyptian Parliament, can also be part of the broader dialogical network of a scandal, in this case ignited by a minister’s statement, in what has been called the ‘Fârûq Husnî case’ (Klaus, Dupret and Ferrié 2008). In this chapter, we build on this research through an examination of the scandal as a dialogical network, analysed through its sequential organization and category work involving the protagonists and the audiences implicated in the unfolding of a news item of this type, which transformed into a scandal and even a public cause.