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Mouldi Lahmar

Mouldi Lahmar is Professor of Sociology at the Université de Tunis, but currently in Doha at the Institute for Graduate Studies. He completed his graduate studies at l'Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, where he studied rural sociology. His studies focus on political phenomena...
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This other hidden face of the Tunisian revolution: its rurality

Mouldi Lahmar, 25 June 2015

Based on a unique survey, this sociological analysis tackles one of the lesser known aspects of the Tunisian revolution. During the hectic period that followed the fall of Ben Ali’s regime, the media and political analysts stuck to the initial image of Mohamed Bouazizi – the young man whose self immolation sparked the revolution that overthrew Ben Ali – as one of the many young urban university graduates from the city of Sidi Bouzid who had had to “lower” himself to work as a fruit and vegetable street vendor. By extension, they described the Tunisian revolution as an urban revolution and the expression of dissatisfied educated young people who, in spite of holding university degrees, were doomed to be unemployed and live as a downgraded middle class. The rural aspect of the revolution is largely underestimated. In this analysis we aim to correct this version of events and show that the Tunisian revolution had a strong rural aspect. The consequences of this underestimation are likely to emerge in years to come.

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