New Article: Gamliel, The Lasting Hegemony in Israeli Theatre

Gamliel, Tova. “Ghosts and Habitus: The Lasting Hegemony in Israeli Theatre.” Ethnography (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1750635216643113

 
Abstract

The article asks why the Israeli theatre’s ‘voicing hegemony’ practices endure despite a critical public debate that favors cultural pluralism. Ethnographies at two central repertory theatres elicit the meanings of the theatre’s ‘back-to-the past’ institutional habitus, as revealed in observations and in-depth interviews with actors, and disclose artistic dispositions that bolster veteran actors’ stature in the theatre and Israeli art generally. Analysis of the findings links professional capital with the twilight of an artist’s theatrical career. One conclusion connects the theatrical habitus with justification of Israel’s Zionist ideology. Theoretically, the article illuminates the historical component of the Bourdieuian concept of habitus. The duplication of this component in the back-to-the-past habitus inheres to mythification processes and makes the theatrical habitus relatively resilient to social changes.

 

 

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New Article: Natanel, Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine

Natanel, Katherine. “Border Collapse and Boundary Maintenance: Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine.” Gender, Place & Culture 23.6 (2016): 897-911.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2015.1136807

 

Abstract

Drawing upon subaltern geopolitics and feminist geography, this article explores how militarisation shapes micro-geographies of violence and occupation in Israel–Palestine. While accounts of spectacular and large-scale political violence dominate popular imaginaries and academic analyses in/of the region, a shift to the micro-scale foregrounds the relationship between power, politics and space at the level of everyday life. In the context of Israel–Palestine, micro-geographies have revealed dynamic strategies for ‘getting by’ or ‘dealing with’ the occupation, as practiced by Palestinian populations in the face of spatialised violence. However, this article considers how Jewish Israelis actively shape the spatial micro-politics of power within and along the borders of the Israeli state. Based on 12 months of ethnographic research in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem during 2010–2011, an analysis of everyday narratives illustrates how relations of violence, occupation and domination rely upon gendered dynamics of border collapse and boundary maintenance. Here, the borders between home front and battlefield break down at the same time as communal boundaries are reproduced, generating conditions of ‘total militarism’ wherein military interests and agendas are both actively and passively diffused. Through gendering the militarised micro-geographies of violence among Jewish Israelis, this article reveals how individuals construct, navigate and regulate the everyday spaces of occupation, detailing more precisely how macro political power endures.

 

 

 

New Article: Weiss, How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance

Weiss, Erica. “Incentivized Obedience: How a Gentler Israeli Military Prevents Organized Resistance.” American Anthropologist 118.1 (2016): 91-103.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aman.12501
 

Abstract

In this article, I offer an ethnographic examination of neoliberal techniques of control through absence by the Israeli military, the state institution most associated with discipline, indoctrination, and direct coercion. I highlight the ways that the apparent withdrawal of the state from practices of indoctrination and the punishment of conscientious objectors are accompanied by a shift in recruitment and training that emphasizes self-advancement and social mobility above national and ideological commitments. While in the past the Israeli state and military focused exclusively on shaping self-sacrificing citizens, today it invests a great deal of its effort in structuring the calculated choices of self-interested individuals toward favorable outcomes. I explore the uneven but strategic deployment of incentivized governance and consider some of the effects of these techniques for the meaning of engaged citizenship and the politics of state violence in a militarized society. Further, I demonstrate that the lightening of disciplinary sanctions in favor of individual freedom is an effective form of weakening dissent and that it confounds efforts to constitute organized resistance to militarism, leaving activists floundering to find effective ways to express their political concerns.

 

 

 

New Article: Kemp & Kfir, Migrant Workers’ Rights Activism in Israel and Singapore

Kemp, Adriana, and Nelly Kfir. “Mobilizing Migrant Workers’ Rights in ‘Non-immigration’ Countries: The Politics of Resonance and Migrants’ Rights Activism in Israel and Singapore.” Law & Society Review 50.1 (2016): 82-116.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lasr.12179

 

Abstract

How are the rights of migrant workers mobilized in non-immigration regimes? Drawing on an ethnography of human rights NGOs in Israel and Singapore, two countries that share similar ethnic policies but differ in their political regime, this study contributes to scholarship on migrants’ rights mobilization by expanding cross-national analysis beyond the United States and West Europe and diverting its focus from legal institutions to the places where rights are produced. Findings show that differences in the political regime influence the channels for mobilizing claims but not the cultural politics of resonance that NGOs use when dealing with the tensions between restrictive ethnic policies and the expansion of labor migration. While restraints in authoritarian Singapore operate mainly outside the activists’ circle, in the Israeli ethno-democracy they operate through self-disciplining processes that neutralize their potential challenge to hegemonic understandings of citizenship. Paradoxically, success in advancing rights for migrants through resonance often results in reinforcing the non-immigration regime.

 

 

 

New Article: Natanel, Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine

Natanel, Katherine. “Border Collapse and Boundary Maintenance: Militarisation and the Micro-Geographies of Violence in Israel–Palestine.” Gender, Place & Culture (early view; online first).

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2015.1136807
 
Abstract

Drawing upon subaltern geopolitics and feminist geography, this article explores how militarisation shapes micro-geographies of violence and occupation in Israel–Palestine. While accounts of spectacular and large-scale political violence dominate popular imaginaries and academic analyses in/of the region, a shift to the micro-scale foregrounds the relationship between power, politics and space at the level of everyday life. In the context of Israel–Palestine, micro-geographies have revealed dynamic strategies for ‘getting by’ or ‘dealing with’ the occupation, as practiced by Palestinian populations in the face of spatialised violence. However, this article considers how Jewish Israelis actively shape the spatial micro-politics of power within and along the borders of the Israeli state. Based on 12 months of ethnographic research in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem during 2010–2011, an analysis of everyday narratives illustrates how relations of violence, occupation and domination rely upon gendered dynamics of border collapse and boundary maintenance. Here, the borders between home front and battlefield break down at the same time as communal boundaries are reproduced, generating conditions of ‘total militarism’ wherein military interests and agendas are both actively and passively diffused. Through gendering the militarised micro-geographies of violence among Jewish Israelis, this article reveals how individuals construct, navigate and regulate the everyday spaces of occupation, detailing more precisely how macro political power endures.

 

 

 

New Article: Benjamin, Negotiating Job Quality in Contracted-Out Services

Benjamin, Orly. “Negotiating Job Quality in Contracted-Out Services: An Israeli Institutional Ethnography.” In The Post-Fordist Sexual Contract: Working and Living in Contingency (ed. Lisa Adkins and Maryanne Dever; Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016): 149-69.

 
9781137495532
 

Extract

I forward an analysis of the process of preparing contracts themselves prior to service operation, and the negotiations between various public sector administrators that shape employees’ job quality. I make use of Dorothy Smith’s (2005) methodology of institutional ethnography for the purpose of understanding how job quality is shaped for both certified and uncertified employees in the social services commissioned by the Israeli Welfare, Education, and Health ministries.

 

 

 

New Article: Seeman,Coffee and the Moral Order

Seeman, Don. “Coffee and the Moral Order: Ethiopian Jews and Pentecostals against Culture.” American Ethnologist 42.4 (2015): 734-48.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/amet.12167

 
Abstract

For Ethiopian Jews and (formerly Jewish) Pentecostals in Israel, coffee (buna) is more than just a stimulant, a cultural symbol, or even a social lubricant. It is a material medium for disputes about the limitations of moral agency, the experience of kin relations that have been broken or restructured, and the eruption of dangerous—but also healing—potencies in the social world. Buna consumption has become a focal point for at least three different forms of moral compulsion (physical addiction; zar, or spirit, affliction; and kinship obligations) that are experienced as isomorphic with “culture” and from which freedom is sought. The decision to drink or to refrain from drinking buna has therefore emerged as a fulcrum of moral experience around which different Ethiopian groups in Israel negotiate the limits of “culture” and the quest for an elusive moral freedom.

 

 

New Article: McKee, Coping with Cultural Recognition and Its Denial in Southern Israel

McKee, Emily. “Demolitions and Amendments: Coping with Cultural Recognition and Its Denial in Southern Israel.” Nomadic Peoples 19.1 (2015): 95-119.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3197/np.2015.190107

 

Abstract

This article examines how social preferences, in the form of cultural politics, become concretised in land laws. In Israel, Bedouin Arabs in unrecognised villages and Jewish farmers of individual farmsteads each faced governmental eviction orders and responded by seeking recognition of their land-use practices as legal. However, whereas Jewish farmers successfully mobilised place-based identities to gain legalisation, Bedouin Arabs’ dwelling practices were not recognised as the legitimate basis for land claims, and their attempts to assert place-based identities have been denied. Instead, Bedouin Arabs faced pressures of ‘de-cultural accommodation’ and continued evictions. Ethnographic comparison of these two cases of ‘illegal’ settlement demonstrates how cultural identities – as former nomads or pioneer farmers – matter for land claims.

 
 
 
 

New Article: Razon, Jews, Bedouins, and the Making of the Secular Israeli

Razon, Na’amah. “Entangled Bodies: Jews, Bedouins, and the Making of the Secular Israeli.” Medical Anthropology (early view; online first).

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2016.1138950

 

Abstract

Taking Israel’s National Health Insurance Law as a point of entry, in this article I probe how notions of equality and citizenship, secularism and religion become entangled in the experience of Negev/Naqab Bedouin, who are Palestinian citizens of Israel. Drawing on ethnographic and archival research, I show how Jewish citizens have come to represent the secular and modern citizens in the region, while Bedouins, although mandated and claimed by policy and providers to be the ‘same’ and ‘equal’, are always already imagined and characterized as other. Universal healthcare and the daily manner in which biomedicine is practiced in southern Israel provides an avenue for examining the Jewish valences medicine carries in southern Israel, Israel’s boundaries of inclusion, and the connection between biomedicine and secularism.

 

 

 

New Book: Bekerman, The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education

Bekerman, Zvi. The Promise of Integrated Multicultural and Bilingual Education. Inclusive Palestinian-Arab and Jewish Schools in Israel. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

 
9780199336517
 

The Promise of Integrated and Multicultural Bilingual Education presents the results of a long-term ethnographic study of the integrated bilingual Palestinian-Jewish schools in Israel that offer a new educational option to two groups of Israelis–Palestinians and Jews–who have been in conflict for the last one hundred years. Their goal is to create egalitarian bilingual multicultural environments to facilitate the growth of youth who can acknowledge and respect “others” while maintaining loyalty to their respective cultural traditions. In this book, Bekerman reveals the complex school practices implemented while negotiating identity and culture in contexts of enduring conflict. Data gathered from interviews with teachers, students, parents, and state officials are presented and analyzed to explore the potential and limitations of peace education given the cultural resources, ethnic-religious affiliations, political beliefs, and historical narratives of the various interactants. The book concludes with critique of Western positivist paradigmatic perspectives that currently guide peace education, maintaining that one of the primary weaknesses of current bilingual and multicultural approaches to peace education is their failure to account for the primacy of the political framework of the nation state and the psychologized educational perspectives that guide their educational work. Change, it is argued, will only occur after these perspectives are abandoned, which entails critically reviewing present understandings of the individual, of identity and culture, and of the learning process.

 
Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part 1
  • 1. Positioning the Author
  • 2. Theoretical Perspectives
  • 3. Methodology: From Theory to Implementation
  • 4. Schools in Their Contexts
  • Part 2
  • 5. The Parents
  • 6. Teachers at Their Work
  • 7. The Children
  • Part 3
  • 8. School Routines: Culture, Religion, and Politics in the Classroom
  • 9. Ceremonial Events
  • 10. Conflicting National Narratives
  • Part 4
  • 11. The Graduates
  • 12. Conclusions
  • Author Index
  • Subject Index

 

ZVI BEKERMAN teaches anthropology of education at the School of Education and The Melton Center, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His main interests are in the study of cultural, ethnic, and national identity, including identity processes and negotiation during intercultural encounters and in formal/informal learning contexts. He is particularly interested in how concepts such as culture and identity intersect with issues of social justice, intercultural and peace education, and citizenship education.

 

 

 

Dissertation: Harel, “The eternal nation does not fear a long road”: An Ethnography of Jewish Settlers in Israel/Palestine

Harel, Assaf. “The eternal nation does not fear a long road”: An Ethnography of Jewish Settlers in Israel/Palestine, PhD thesis, Rutgers University, 2015.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7282/T3VD71FW

 

Abstract

This is an ethnography of Jewish settlers in Israel/Palestine. Studies of religiously motivated settlers in the occupied territories indicate the intricate ties between settlement practices and a Jewish theology about the advent of redemption. This messianic theology binds future redemption with the maintenance of a physical union between Jews and the “Land of Israel.” However, among settlers themselves, the dominance of this messianic theology has been undermined by postmodernity and most notably by a series of Israeli territorial withdrawals that have contradicted the promise of redemption. These days, the religiously motivated settler population is divided among theological and ideological lines that pertain, among others issues, to the meaning of redemption and its relation to the state of Israel. This dissertation begins with an investigation of the impact of the 2005 Israeli unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip upon settlers and proceeds to compare three groups of religiously motivated settlers in the West Bank: an elite Religious Zionist settlement, settlers who engage in peacemaking activities with Palestinians, and settlers who act violently against Palestinians. Through a comparison of these different groups, this dissertation demonstrates that while messianism remains a central force in the realities of Jewish settlements and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it exists these days in more diversified forms than before. In addition, this ethnography illustrates how religion both underlies and undermines differences between Israelis and Palestinians and argues that local communities and religious leaders should be included in peace processes. Finally, by examining how messianic conceptions of time among different groups of Jewish settlers connect to their settlement practices, this study reveals the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be as much about time as it is about space. Accordingly, this dissertation has broader implications for understanding the contemporary role of religion and time within the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the political struggles of the Middle East.

 

 

New Article, Amrami, Therapy Versus Messianism in Preparing for the Evacuation of Israeli Settlements

Amrami, Galia Plotkin. “‘Denial or Faith?’ Therapy Versus Messianism in Preparing for the Evacuation of Israeli Settlements.” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 46.4 (2015): 414-30.

 
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aeq.12119
 
Abstract

This article offers an ethnographic account of the professional activities of mental health practitioners, employed by the state’s religious education system. I analyze various models implemented by practitioners for the purposes of preparing pupils for the state-mandated evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza and the West Bank. By focusing on the interaction between psychological and religious-national cultural frameworks I show how practitioners imbue familiar professional concepts with new meanings and create hybrid models of intervention.

 

 

 

New Article: Stadler and Luz, Two Venerated Mothers Separated by a Wall

Stadler, Nurit, and Nimrod Luz. “Two Venerated Mothers Separated by a Wall: Iconic Spaces, Territoriality, and Borders in Israel-Palestine.” Religion and Society 6.1 (2015): 127-41.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/arrs.2015.060109

 

Abstract

This article explores the role of sacred places and pilgrimage centers in the context of contemporary geopolitical strife and border disputes. Following and expanding on the growing body of literature engaged with the contested nature of the sacred, this article argues that sacred sites are becoming more influential in processes of determining physical borders. We scrutinize this phenomenon through the prism of a small parcel of land on the two sides of the Separation Wall that is being constructed between Israel and Palestine. Our analysis focuses on two holy shrines that are dedicated to devotional mothers: the traditional Tomb of Rachel the Matriarch on the way to Bethlehem and Our Lady of the Wall, an emergent Christian site constructed as a reaction to the Wall. We examine the architectural (and material) phenomenology, the experience, and the implications that characterize these two adjacent spatialities, showing how these sites are being used as political tools by various actors to challenge the political, social, and geographical order.

 

 

New Book: Koensler, Israeli-Palestinian Activism

Koensler, Alexander. Israeli-Palestinian Activism. Shifting Paradigms. Farnham, UK, and Burlington, Vt.: Ashgate, 2015.

 

Koensler

When do words and actions empower? When do they betray? Based on ethnographic fieldwork, this volume tracks the repercussions of advocacy activism against house demolitions in ‘unrecognised’ Arab-Bedouin villages in Israel’s southern ‘internal frontier’. It highlights the repercussions of activism for victims, fund-raisers and activists. The ethnographic episodes show how humanitarian aid intervention and indigenous identity politics can turn into a double-edged sword. Ironically, institutional lobbying for coexistence and its interpretative categories can sometimes perpetuate different forms of subjugation. The volume also shows how, beyond the institutional lobbying, novel figures of activism emerge: informal networks create non-sectarian, cross-cutting countercultures and rethink human-environment relationships. These experimental political subjects redefine the categories of the conflict and elude the logic of zero-sum games; they point towards a shifting paradigm in current ethnopolitics.

 

Koensler outlines an ethnographic approach for the study of social movements that follows multiple relations around mobilisations rather than studying activism in itself. This perspective thus becomes relevant for scholars and activists engaged with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and those interested in global rights discourses.

 

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Acknowledgements
Note on Transliteration
Introduction

  • PART I: THE SOCIAL LIFE OF CLAIMS
  • 1. Ethnography and social movement studies
  • 2. The life of Israeli-Palestinian claims
  • PART II: CONTRADICTIONS
  • 3.The ‘ghost village’
  • 4. Illusions
  • 5. Frictions and connections
  • PART III: INNOVATIONS
  • 6. Politics of polyphony?
  • 7. Global ecosophies
  • Conclusion

Appendix: Conceptual Tour
Bibliography
Index

 

ALEXANDER KOENSLER is Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

 

New Article: Gold, Adaptation and Return among Israeli Enclave and Infotech Entrepreneurs

Gold, Steven J. “Adaptation and Return among Israeli Enclave and Infotech Entrepreneurs.” In Immigration and Work (ed. Jody Agius Vallejo; Bingley: Emerald, 2015), 203-29.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/S0277-283320150000027022

 

Abstract

Purpose

Since the widespread adoption of the concept, transnational theorizing has attended to inequalities with regard to legal status, education, travel, and access to capital to understand the experience of migrant populations. This issue has become especially pertinent in recent years, as a growing body of journalistic and scholarly attention has been devoted to a new group of transnationals who work as entrepreneurs, professionals, and financiers involved in high tech and other cutting-edge economic activities. Regarded as among the world’s most powerful engines of economic growth and innovation, these entrepreneurs enjoy unprecedented levels of income, state-granted privileges (including permission to work), and access to elite institutions. Because of their level of resources, some observers contend that this group represents a fundamentally new category of immigrants distinct not only from labor migrants but also from merchants, professionals, and technicians.

Methodology/approach

To better understand their experience, this chapter draws on in-depth interviews and ethnographic research to compare two groups of Israeli immigrants living in Western societies: high-tech entrepreneurs and enclave entrepreneurs. Focusing on their economic and collective lives, it identifies similarities and differences among the two.

Findings

Conclusions suggest that the mostly male high-tech migrants do enjoy incomes, contacts, and access to travel that far exceed those available to labor and skilled migrants. Moreover, infotech immigrants are not dependent upon contacts with local co-ethnics that are vital for the survival of most other migrant populations. However, the communal, identity-related and familial concerns of infotech migrants are not completely amenable to their considerable resources. Accordingly, as they address these matters, their experience reveals significant similarities to those of migrants bearing a less privileged status.

Research implications

Collective, familial and identificational issues play central roles in shaping patterns of work and travel among high-tech transnational entrepreneurs. As such, these issues deserve continued attention in studies of global migration and work.

Originality/value

Research is based on a multi-sited ethnographic study of Israeli enclave and infotech entrepreneurs.

 

New Article: Stadler, Exploring Body Rituals at the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem

Stadler, Nurit. “Land, Fertility Rites and the Veneration of Female Saints: Exploring Body Rituals at the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem.” Anthropological Theory 15.3 (2015): 293-316.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1463499615570779

 

Abstract

This article explores the connections between rituals, embodiment, and territorial claims by taking stock of Christian Orthodox rites at the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem. As part of a comprehensive ethnography of this shrine, I have examined a wide array of body-based female practices that revolve around Mary’s tomb. By rejuvenating embodied practices that are associated with fertility, parturition and maternity, devotees enlist the grotto’s womb-like interior as a platform for kissing, touching, crawling, bending, and other physical acts of devotion that make for a powerful body-based experience. As demonstrated herein, the mimetic journey of a fetus/pilgrim through this womb-tomb expanse elicits a sense of rebirth, which is analogous to reclaiming the land and establishing a “motherly” alternative to the masculine and bellicose disposition in Israel/Palestine.

 

 

New Article: Shokeid, Transforming Urban Landscapes and the Texture of Citizenship

Shokeid, Moshe. “Newcomers at the Israeli National Table: Transforming Urban Landscapes and the Texture of Citizenship.” City & Society 27.2 (2015): 208-30.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ciso.12061

 

Abstract

Advocating research of the “ethnographic present,” the article portrays the recent evolvement of two constituencies in Israeli urban society conceived as new socio-economic-cultural and spatial social “banks”: Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia residing in ethnically segregated urban neighborhoods; the gradual concentration in Tel Aviv’s downtown neighborhoods of authorized and undocumented labor migrants from Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as asylum seekers from Eritrea and Sudan. It reports on the growing protest by local Israeli residents, the government’s efforts to limit the presence of “uninvited strangers,” as well as the active response of the unwelcome aliens. I posit that the emergence of these new ethnic enclaves converges with other critical changes in Israeli institutional life. Major transformations in the texture and tenets of Israeli citizenry, its spatial construction and national identity are steadily progressing.

 

 

New Book: Monterescu, Jaffa Shared and Shattered

Monterescu, Daniel. Jaffa Shared and Shattered. Contrived Coexistence in Israel/Palestine. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015.

9780253016775

 

Binational cities play a pivotal role in situations of long-term conflict, and few places have been more marked by the tension between intimate proximity and visceral hostility than Jaffa, one of the “mixed towns” of Israel/Palestine. In this nuanced ethnographic and historical study, Daniel Monterescu argues that such places challenge our assumptions about cities and nationalism, calling into question the Israeli state’s policy of maintaining homogeneous, segregated, and ethnically stable spaces. Analyzing everyday interactions, life stories, and histories of violence, he reveals the politics of gentrification and the circumstantial coalitions that define the city. Drawing on key theorists in anthropology, sociology, urban studies, and political science, he outlines a new relational theory of sociality and spatiality.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Contrived Coexistence: Relational Histories of Urban Mix in Israel/PalestinePart I. Beyond Methodological Nationalism: Communal Formations and Ambivalent Belonging
    1. Spatial Relationality: Theorizing Space and Sociality in Jewish-Arab “Mixed Towns”
    2. The Bridled “Bride of Palestine”: Urban Orientalism and the Zionist Quest for Place
    3. The “Mother of the Stranger”: Palestinian Presence and the Ambivalence of SumudPart II. Sharing Place or Consuming Space: The Neoliberal City
    4. Inner Space and High Ceilings: Agents and Ideologies of Ethnogentrification
    5. To Buy or Not to Be: Trespassing the Gated CommunityPart III. Being and Belonging in the Binational City: A Phenomenology of the Urban
    6. Escaping the Mythscape: Tales of Intimacy and Violence
    7. Situational Radicalism and Creative Marginality: The “Arab Spring” and Jaffa’s Counterculture

    Conclusion: The City of the Forking Paths: Imagining the Futures of Binational Urbanism

    Notes
    References
    Index

Daniel Monterescu is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University. He is author (with Haim Hazan) of A Town at Sundown: Aging Nationalism in Jaffa and editor (with Dan Rabinowitz) of Mixed Towns, Trapped Communities: Historical Narratives, Spatial Dynamics, Gender Relations and Cultural Encounters in Palestinian-Israeli Towns.

New Article: Sabar and Pagis, African Labor Migrants Returning from Israel

Sabar, Galia, and Michal Pagis. “Enhancing the Spirit of Entrepreneurship: African Labor Migrants Returning from Israel.” Migration Studies 3.2 (2015): 260-80.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/migration/mnu045

 

Abstract

Contemporary studies on return migration express a growing interest in the cultural and social dimensions of its economic development. In this article we aim to extend this interest by focusing on economic values returning migrants bring back with them to their countries of origin, captured in what we call the ‘entrepreneurial spirit’. The article is based on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork with Sub-Saharan African labor migrants both in Israel and after their return to their country of origin. Utilizing a Weberian perspective on the connection between values and economic action, we illustrate that even though African migrants work in menial jobs in Israel and very few acquire professional training, they come to utilize Israel as an informal space for the enhancement of a ‘spirit of entrepreneurship’. This spirit contains three valuative transformations: a transformation concerning time (including a valuing of the future over the present); a transformation concerning individual action (replacing the primacy of community with a focus on individual flourishing)-Sahara; and a transformation in social relations (extending trust beyond friends and family to economic partners). These transformations are in line with economic values underlying a capitalist economic system. The expression of these value orientations acts as an important factor through which African countries have become increasingly interlinked and influenced by neoliberal culture. Yet, as the testimonies of African labor migrants reveal, local social structures reside side by side with this imported spirit of entrepreneurship. This hybridity may lead to increased opportunities, but also to feelings of estrangement and frustration.

Reviews: Jackson, Thin Description

Jackson, John L., Jr. Thin Description. Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013.

 

thindescription

 

Reviews: