New Article: Levin et al, Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services

Levin, Lia, Sharon Gewirtz, and Alan Cribb. “Shared Decision Making in Israeli Social Services: Social Workers’ Perspectives on Policy Making and Implementation.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcw024

 

Abstract

Over the past decades, social policies in Israel have been characterised by a growing trend towards involving social service clients in decision-making processes. Drawing on interviews with seventy-seven social workers from various backgrounds employed in a range of organisations and positions, the current study sought to illuminate the contested nature of shared decision making (SDM), the practice and policy dilemmas it generates, and the readiness of the Israeli policy context to support its implementation. Findings from interviews are described as they relate to questions regarding participants’ definition of SDM, major dilemmas and challenges they identify in the process of using SDM, ways of coping with such issues and their perspectives on policies promoting SDM. Their discussion delineates some of the key lessons of the study, raises critical questions about potential contradictions between the call for SDM in social worker–client relationships and the ethos of policy maker–social worker relationships, and uses Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) to ask, in light of participants’ accounts, how suitable the policy platform of Israeli social work is for supporting an effective and reflexive approach to SDM.

 

 

 

New Article: Szobel, Prostitution, Power and Vulnerability in Early Twentieth-Century Hebrew Literature

Szobel, Ilana. “‘Lights in the Darkness’: Prostitution, Power and Vulnerability in Early Twentieth-Century Hebrew Literature.” Prooftexts 34.2 (2015): 170-206.

 

URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/prooftexts/v034/34.2.szobel.html

 

Abstract

This article explores the juxtaposition of prostitution, masculinity, and nationalism in the works of Hebrew writers at the beginning of the twentieth century. By discussing the psycho-poetical elements that underlie David Vogel’s depiction of prostitution and the ideological elements in Gershon Shofman’s work, and by exposing their dialogue with Hayim Nahman Bialik, this project explores power, vulnerability, gender, sexuality, and nationalism in Hebrew literature of the first half of the twentieth century.

My study argues that the trope of the prostitute enables writers of early Hebrew literature to negotiate questions of strength and weakness in the Jewish world. Although Bialik’s option of sovereign masculinity became the norm for the Zionist discourse, Shofman, Vogel, Brenner, Reuveni and others expressed different perceptions of gender and power. Hence, in order to understand the intensity of the poetic, national, and gendered dilemmas and struggles of this generation, this study offers to listen not only to their concepts of revival, renewal and empowerment, but also to their expressions of weakness, frustration, loss, anger and aggression.

 

 

New Article: Buchbinder & Karayanni, Arab Battered Women Coping with Stigmatization

Buchbinder, Eli, and Nisreen George Karayanni. “Rejection and Choice: Arab Battered Women Coping with Stigmatization After Leaving Battered Women’s Shelters in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work 24.3 (2015): 235-50.

 

URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15313204.2014.991981

 

Abstract
In the collectivist Arab society, intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered to be a personal and a family problem. Arab women who seek refuge in shelters for battered women are perceived as violating a cultural norm. This study focused on how Arab women cope with living independently in the community after spending time in a shelter. In this qualitative study, 12 women between the ages of 25 and 42 were interviewed, after having spent six to 30 months in the shelter. Since then, they had been living in the community. Analysis of the interviews revealed that the women described their independent lives as positioned between two poles: On one pole, they experienced stress and rejection from the family and society, which caused them pain, anger, and loneliness. On the other pole, the women experienced strength that enabled them to find meaning in their right to choose. The discussion of the study findings focuses on the dialectical relationships between the social stigma of rejection and the women’s self-transformation toward an empowered identity in the context of a collectivist-patriarchal community.

 

 

Dissertation: Doron, The Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel

Doron, Guy. Is Empowerment of Disadvantaged Populations Achievable through Housing Policies? A Study of the Impact of Social Housing on the Empowerment of the Poor in Israel, PhD Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science, 2015.

 
URL: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.647167

 

Abstract
This research project investigates whether the empowerment of Israel’s population — and in particular those who suffer multiple disadvantages — is achievable through housing policies and whether successive Israeli administrations have helped or hindered this process. The research focuses on communities in publicly-subsidised areas during social housing programmes. The housing programmes analysed in this research were: The Demolish and Rebuild Programme, which represents a top-down process, implemented with little residents’ involvement. Neighbourhood Renewal, which was a programme that formally offered partnership, giving residents partial share in decision-making. Finally, Right to Buy represented a resident-led partnership, in which residents felt empowered to overcome their own disadvantaged conditions by taking a leading role in transforming housing policy. The database complementing this research was compiled, in part, from 91 in-depth interviews with residents, policy makers and officials representing these three programmes. It is a unique aspect of this research, as it draws on perspectives about participation from those who have not necessarily had an opportunity to express an opinion before, and communicates a variety of views regarding the projects and residents’ participation in them. This study focuses on how it actually affects people and can even create behavioural change among those who are normally considered dependent. Another exceptional and distinctive factor provided by this research is its analysis of empowerment in the social and political context of Israel. By analysing the Israeli case, this research will contribute both to international knowledge and academic scholarship, highlight the conditions of an individual state and generate an original and provocative narrative. The issue of participation and empowerment in a society so riven with political, social, religious and ethnic tensions is particularly important. Learning from the Israeli experience has the potential to promote understanding of empowerment under pressure. Empowerment related to social housing policy is distinctive in Israel because housing is synonymous with security. Housing is more than a cultural issue, since in Israel owning a property is a matter of security. Another key feature is the focal role of central government which determines almost every aspect in the shaping of social and housing policy. Also critical is the influence of national politics on local decision-making. In Israel the political agenda is based upon bilateralism and the demographic dispersal of population across the state’s formal and informal borders. Empowerment is a complex term. This research, however, explores examined and evidenced empowerment using just two main features: examination of residents’ participation; and evaluation of public policy towards resident participation. This research offers a unique view on empowerment within social housing policies that are subject to multiple pressures, and offers interpretations that could be usefully applied to issues of empowerment in other pressure scenarios.

 

 

 

New Article: Jamal, Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories

Jamal, Manal A. “Western Donor Assistance and Gender Empowerment in the Palestinian Territories and Beyond.” International Feminist Journal of Politics (online first; early view).

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616742.2013.849966

 

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, the quest to spread democracy has become the rallying call of many Western donor agencies. Reflecting this new agenda, new program priorities prevailed that placed greater emphasis on civil society development, civic engagement and gender empowerment. Contrary to expectations, however, many of these programs have often adversely affected existing social movements. Most scholars attempting to explain these unintended outcomes have focused on the impact of NGO professionalization. Examining the Palestinian women’s movement, this article addresses the inadequacy of this explanation and focuses on the political dimension of this discussion by illustrating how Western donors’ lack of understanding of the Palestinian women’s movement and its “embeddedness” in the broader political context served to weaken and undermine this movement. The influx of Western donor assistance in the post-Madrid, post-Oslo era, along with the greater emphasis on Western promoted gender empowerment, undermined the cohesiveness of the women’s movement by exacerbating existing political polarization (that went beyond Islamist and secular divisions) and disempowering many grassroots activists. Effectively, many of these activists were transformed from active political participants involved in their organizations to the recipients of skills and services in need of awareness raising. Findings in this article also speak to current regional developments, especially in light of the current Arab uprisings and the promise of greater Western involvement to empower women in the region.

New Book: Nasasra et al, The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism

Nasasra, Mansour, Sophie Richter-Devroe, Sarab Abu-Rabia-Queder, and Richard Ratcliffe, eds. The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism. New Perspectives. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2014.

 

9780415638456

 

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415638456/

 

Abstract

The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism brings together new scholarship to challenge perceived paradigms, often dominated by orientalist, modernist or developmentalist assumptions on the Naqab Bedouin.

The past decade has witnessed a change in both the wider knowledge production on, and political profile of, the Naqab Bedouin. This book addresses this change by firstly, endeavouring to overcome the historic isolation of Naqab Bedouin studies from the rest of Palestine studies by situating, studying and analyzing their predicaments firmly within the contemporary context of Israeli settler-colonial policies. Secondly, it strives to de-colonise research and advocacy on the Naqab Bedouin, by, for example, reclaiming ‘indigenous’ knowledge and terminology.

Offering not only a nuanced description and analysis of Naqab Bedouin agency and activism, but also trying to draw broader conclusion as to the functioning of settler-colonial power structures as well as to the politics of research in such a context, this book is essential reading for students and researchers with an interest in Postcolonial Studies, Development Studies, Israel/Palestine Studies and the contemporary Middle East more broadly.

Table of Contents

Part I: Changing Paradigms

1 Introduction: Rethinking the Paradigms – Richard Ratcliffe, Mansour Nasra, Sarab Abu Rabia Qweider, Sophie Richter-Devroe

2 Bedouin Tribes in the Middle East and the Naqab: Changing Dynamics and the New State – Mansour Nsasra

3 The Forgotten Victims of the Palestine Ethnic Cleansing – Ilan Pappe

4 Past and Present in the Discourse of Negev Bedouin Geography and Space: A Critical Review – Yuval Karplus & Avinoam Meir

5 Land, Identity, and History: New Discourse on the Nakba of Bedouin Arabs in the Naqab – Safa Abu Rabia

Part II: Naqab Bedouin Activism and Agency

6 The Politics of Non-cooperation and Lobbying: the Naqab Bedouin and Israeli Military Rule (1948-1967) – Mansour Nsara

7 Bedouin Women’s Organizations in the Naqab: Social Activism for Women’s Empowerment?– Elisabeth Marteu

8 Colonialism, Cause Advocacy, and the Naqab Case– Ahmad Amara

Part III: Politics of Research on/for/with Naqab Bedouin

9 Shifting Discourses: Unlocking Representations of Educated Bedouin Women’s Identities– Sarab Abu Rabia-Queder

New Article: Tadmor-Shimony, Women Immigrant Teachers in 1950s Israel

Tadmor-Shimony, Tali. “Women Immigrant Teachers and State Formation in Israel, 1948–1959.” Journal of Women’s History 26.3 (2014): 81-104.

URL:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_womens_history/v026/26.3.tadmor-shimony.html

Abstract

This article discusses the phenomenon of women immigrant teachers during the 1950s in Israel, an issue which incorporates several research topics: migration, gender, and teaching. It asks whether the popular saying: “Teaching is women’s work,” was true in regard to Israel during this time period. In order to do so, this article examines the choices and actions of those women, all of whom were trying to cope with their new situation and to integrate successfully into the host society. A large portion of women immigrant teachers found jobs in immigrant villages and development towns. From an educational point of view, these women were not the strongest link in the pedagogical chain, and yet they were asked to assist in the formation of a new society. By doing so, they chose to become agents of acculturation and carried out leadership functions; they became empowered, and quickly shed their weak, immigrant women status.

New Article: Kulik and Kitaichik, Marital Intimacy ad Gender Roles: Israeli Husbands and Wives

Kulik, Liat and Danielle Kitaichik. “Marital Intimacy and Selected Correlates of Gender Roles: A Comparative Analysis of Israeli Husbands and Wives.” Women’s Studies 43.6 (2014): 823-42.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00497878.2014.921509

 

 

Excerpt

In light of the finding that a liberal gender role ideology increases the sense of intimacy among husbands as well as among wives—and because men typically tend to maintain a more traditional gender role ideology than women do—marital counselors should encourage the adoption of a liberal gender role ideology not only as a goal in itself but also as a means of enhancing marital intimacy among husbands and wives.
Moreover, in the process of intervention, counselors should adopt an approach that emphasizes that if women are nurturing and compassionate they can also assert power and feel empowered in the marital relationship. Most important, the counseling approach should be based on the perception of the new woman, which combines both feminine and masculine characteristics as expressed in the term “agency in community.” Apparently, the challenge that counselors face today is to help women find the appropriate balance in the application of this concept in their daily lives.

New Article: An Internet-Based Empowerment Project in Palestine and Israel

Benedikter, Roland and Davide Ziveri. “The Global Imaginary, New Media and Sociopolitical Innovation in the Periphery: The Practical Case of an Internet-Based Empowerment Project in Palestine and Israel.” Continuum 28.4 (2014): 439-53.

 

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10304312.2013.772113

 

Abstract

This paper is concerned with a description of the way in which a particular group of marginalized peoples in Palestine are using digital network technologies as part of a campaign of non-violent resistance to their conditions. It is an engaging story of what is a case study in the way communications technologies are becoming part of broader struggles for liberation not just in the ‘connected’ centres, but also in more isolated areas. The aims of the international empowerment project called ‘Nonviolence 2.0’ are to serve as a forum for developing peace, understanding and tolerance between groups engaged in a long and ongoing conflict. What is significant in it is the use of personal narratives that humanize both sides of the conflict, as well as of mobile technologies to record and reflect conflict by general citizens. The paper deploys some theoretical constructs (such as imagination actions) to frame its – purposefully in large parts rather descriptive than analytic – presentation of this ongoing project.