This paper examines the public sphere process by which non-citizen children of labor migrants came to be recognized as Israeli citizens. In response to a public campaign, three government resolutions were issued in the 2000s to provide Israeli citizenship for these young non-citizens. Generally, studies of non-citizen migrants have emphasized their deportability and illegality as the primary aspect of the biopolitics of contemporary citizenship. On the other hand, I draw attention to the mass mediated process from which public opinion emerges to set the boundary between citizen and non-citizen. To describe this, I examine the pragmatics of voicing non-citizen children in public discourse. I also describe how legal documentation became the semiotic technology through which public opinion was rationalized bureaucratically.
This article proposes the concept of cultural challengers, viewers whose dissatisfaction with popular culture prompts them to initiate a dialogue with media organizations. The article explores the textual dimensions that may cause such discontent and identifies three tracks for conducting the dialogue: civic, economic, and regulatory. The regulatory track is explored through three methodologies: a quantitative content analysis of 817 complaints filed to the Israeli regulatory authority (SATR) between 2005 and 2010, and of the SATR’s responses to them; participatory observation within the SATR; and an online survey of 58 viewers who had filed a complaint with the SATR. The article highlights the differing stances of the regulator and the cultural challengers and analyzes the social and cultural implications of the dialogue.
Sounds and sonic norms and regimes characterize both spaces/territories and individual bodies. This article explores the meanings of and reactions to Arab sounds in Israel – political struggles over muezzins, stereotypical representations of Israeli Palestinians as loud, and so on – in order to offer general insights into the role of the sonic (both actual sounds and their discursive representations) in the new ‘cultural’ racism, in the everyday ethnicized experience of one’s body, and in shaping relations between ethnic and national groups.