New Article: Guggenheim and Taubman-Ben-Ari, Driving Attitudes and Road Experiences among Ultraorthodox Women in Israel

Guggenheim, Noga and Orit Taubman – Ben-Ari. “Women who DARE: Driving Attitudes and Road Experiences among Ultraorthodox Women in Israel.” Gender, Place & Culture 21.5 (2014): 533-49.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0966369X.2013.802670

 

Abstract

This study seeks to gain insight into a unique group, ultraorthodox women in Israel, and their views and attitudes on driving and road experiences. Ultraorthodox women are generally contending with spatial and mobility restrictions due to stringent gendered spaces and social norms in their communities. Specifically in Israel, throughout the ultraorthodox sector, women are strictly forbidden to drive. In this research, we put the emphasis on driving dilemmas that have received marginal attention both socially and empirically. A qualitative method was used, based on face-to-face in-depth interviews, with women from three major ultraorthodox communities. The findings reveal that the driving ban for ultraorthodox women in Israel generates ambivalence and conflict, and exacts a heavy social price. Moreover, in line with approaches of feminist geography, it raises issues of gender relations and cultural implications, such as restricting the space and the mobility of women in order to keep them in a subordinate position. The results are discussed in terms of gender roles, cultural exclusion, and spatiality, on both the practical and emotional levels. The study opens a window to a unique sector of the Israeli population, revealing unique dilemmas with which ultraorthodox women grapple daily in their community.

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