(SUNY Press) This book is an ethnography of life within two large textile factories in Alexandria, Egypt. The author, who worked for over 10 months in both factories as a winding machine operator, reveals how economic relations inside the factory are at the same time relations of significance and meaning; the production of wool and cotton textiles also produces categories of identity, patterns of human interaction, and understandings of the self and others. The author argues that a shop floor culture and the social organization of production in the factories — including company rules and procedures, hierarchy, and relations of authority — shape what it means to be a “worker” and how this identity is understood. Shehata is an assistant professor of Arab Politics at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.