the early Muslim community was ............ entrenched in social status

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The early Muslim community was tribal, and so deeply entrenched in social status, and the idea that a slave would look like a free woman, that was almost insulting.
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I think what she probably meant was the opposite: (the idea of) social status was deeply entrenched in the early Muslim community.

Do you agree:)?
  • Truffula

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    I halfway agree. I agree that the community being entrenched in status and the status being entrenched in the community mean approximately the same thing (which to me, makes them not opposites - but I think you just meant "the reverse" by "the opposite" in this context, as they're often synonymous - in this case if you're switching position only and not meaning, "reverse" or "inverse" would be better word choices).

    I don't think it matters logically. Both "the early Muslim community" and "social status" are abstract ideas about a portion of society. They have no physical part or even standard physical metaphor so which one is "entrenched" in the other doesn't signify much. You could also say "entrenched with" to imply they are entrenched together in some other abstract metaphorical substance.

    Probably a different metaphor would be more successful. Maybe I'd use "layered with" or "enmeshed with" - the first has a nice literal / analogical meaning as social status creates layers in the community, the second has the benefit of meaning they are inextricably bound together and combined, which is very likely what the speaker meant. Unfortunately layered might be too literal, and enmeshed too unfamiliar a word, to use in the example talk.

    So now on reflection I think in a spoken context I'd suggest substituting "caught up with" for "entrenched in." That one has the benefit of being familiar in spoken context and has a connotation of being something that occupies peoples' thoughts, which clearly was part of the intent here. It is a casual sounding phrasing that does not work as well in a written context, though.
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