By Area: Middle East & Israel
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Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag
Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity
Israeli youth voyages to Poland are one of the most popular and influential forms of transmission of Holocaust memory in Israeli society. Through intensive participant observation, group discussions, student diaries, and questionnaires, the author demonstrates how the State shapes Poland into a living deathscape of Diaspora Jewry. In the course of the voyage, students undergo a rite de passage, in which they are transformed into victims, victorious survivors, and finally witnesses of the witnesses. By viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and remains, by accompanying the survivors on the sites of their suffering and survival, crying together and performing commemorative ceremonies at the death sites, students from a wide variety of family backgrounds become carriers of Shoah memory. They come to see the State and its defense as the romanticized answer to the Shoah. These voyages are a bureaucratic response to uncertainty and fluidity of identity in an increasingly globalized and fragmented society. This study adds a measured and compassionate ethical voice to ideological debates surrounding educational and cultural forms of encountering the past in contemporary Israel, and raises further questions about the representation of the Holocaust after the demise of the last living witnesses.
Subjects: General Anthropology Jewish Studies
Childlessness and IVF in Turkey
Demircioğlu Göknar, M.
Managing social relationships for childless couples in pro-natalist societies can be a difficult art to master, and may even become an issue of belonging for both men and women. With ethnographic research gathered from two IVF clinics and in two villages in northwestern Turkey, this book explores infertility and assisted reproductive technologies within a secular Muslim population. Göknar investigates the experience of infertility through various perspectives, such as the importance of having a child for women, the mediating role of religion, the power dynamics in same-gender relationships, and the impact of manhood ideologies on the decision for — or against — having IVF.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology Gender Studies
An Anthropology of War
Views from the Frontline
Waterston, A. (ed)
As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, power, lethal force, and injustice continue to explode violently into war, and the prospects for lasting peace look even bleaker. The horrors of modern warfare - the death, dehumanization, and destruction of social and material infrastructures - have done little to bring an end to armed conflict.
In this volume, leading chroniclers of war provide thoughtful and powerful essays that reflect on their ethnographic work at the frontlines. The contributors recount not only what they have seen and heard in war zones but also what is being read, studied, analyzed and remembered in such diverse locations as Colombia and Guatemala, Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Haiti. In detailed reports from the field, they reflect on the important issue of “accountability” and offer explanations to discern causes, patterns, and practices of war. Through this unique lens, the contributors provide the insight and analysis needed for a deeper understanding of one of the greatest issues of our times.
Avram Bornstein, Paul E. Farmer, R. Brian Ferguson, Lesley Gill, Beatriz Manz, Carolyn Nordstrom, Stephen Reyna, Jose N. Vasquez
Education and Development among the Negev Tribes in the Twentieth Century
The Bedouin in the Negev region have undergone a remarkable change of life style in the course of the 20th century: within a few generations they changed from being nomads to an almost sedentary and highly educated population. The author, who is a Bedouin himself and has worked in the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture as Superintendent of the Bedouin Educational Schools in the Negev for many years, offers the first in-depth study of the development of Bedouin society, using the educational system as his focus.
Bedouin of Mount Sinai
An Anthropological Study of their Political Economy
The Sinai Peninsula links Asia and Africa and for millennia has been crossed by imperial armies from both the east and the west. Thus, its Bedouin inhabitants are by necessity involved in world affairs and maintain a complex, almost urban, economy. They make their home in arid mountains that provide limited pastures and lack arable soils and must derive much of their income from migrant labor and trade. Still, every household maintains, at considerable expense, a small orchard and a minute flock of goats and sheep. The orchards and flocks sustain them in times of need and become the core of a mutual assurance system. It is for this social security that Bedouin live in and retire to the mountains. Based on fieldwork over ten years, this book builds on the central theoretical understanding that the complex political economy of the Mount Sinai Bedouin is integrated into urban society and part of the modern global world.
Subjects: General Anthropology Political Economy
Being Bedouin Around Petra
Life at a World Heritage Site in the Twenty-First Century
Petra, Jordan became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985, and the semi-nomadic Bedouin inhabiting the area were resettled as a consequence. The Bedouin themselves paradoxically became UNESCO Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2005 for the way in which their oral traditions and everyday lives relate to the landscape they no longer live in. Being Bedouin Around Petra asks: How could this happen? And what does it mean to be Bedouin when tourism, heritage protection, national discourse, an Islamic Revival and even New Age spiritualism lay competing claims to the past in the present?
Bread from the Lion's Mouth
Artisans Struggling for a Livelihood in Ottoman Cities
Faroqhi, S. (ed)
The newly awakened interest in the lives of craftspeople in Turkey is highlighted in this collection, which uses archival documents to follow Ottoman artisans from the late 15th century to the beginning of the 20th. The authors examine historical changes in the lives of artisans, focusing on the craft organizations (or guilds) that underwent substantial changes over the centuries. The guilds transformed and eventually dissolved as they were increasingly co-opted by modernization and state-building projects, and by the movement of manufacturing to the countryside. In consequence by the 20th century, many artisans had to confront the forces of capitalism and world trade without significant protection, just as the Ottoman Empire was itself in the process of dissolution.
Subject: General History
'Brothers' or Others?
Propriety and Gender for Muslim Arab Sudanese in Egypt
Fábos, A. H.
Muslim Arab Sudanese in Cairo have played a fundamental role in Egyptian history and society during many centuries of close relations between Egypt and Sudan. Although the government and official press describes them as "brothers" in a united Nile Valley, recent political developments in Egypt have underscored the precarious legal status of Sudanese in Cairo. Neither citizens nor foreigners, they are in an uncertain position, created in part through an unusual ethnic discourse which does not draw principally on obvious characteristics of difference. This rich ethnographic study shows instead that Sudanese ethnic identity is created from deeply held social values, especially those concerning gender and propriety, shared by Sudanese and Egyptian communities. The resulting ethnic identity is ambiguous and flexible, allowing Sudanese to voice their frustrations and make claims for their own uniqueness while acknowledging the identity that they share with the dominant Egyptian community.
Caring for the 'Holy Land'
Filipina Domestic Workers in Israel
In Israel, as in numerous countries of the global North, Filipina women have been recruited in large numbers for domestic work, typically as live-in caregivers for the elderly. The case of Israel is unique in that the country has a special significance as the ‘Holy Land’ for the predominantly devout Christian Filipina women and is at the center of an often violent conflict, which affects Filipinos in many ways. In the literature, migrant domestic workers are often described as being subject to racial discrimination, labour exploitation and exclusion from mainstream society. Here, the author provides a more nuanced account and shows how Filipina caregivers in Israel have succeeded in creating their own collective spaces, as well as negotiating rights and belonging. While maintaining transnational ties and engaging in border-crossing journeys, these women seek to fulfill their dreams of a better life. During this process, new socialities and subjectivities emerge that point to a form of global citizenship in the making, consisting of greater social, economic and political rights within a highly gendered and racialized global economy.
Subjects: Refugee & Migration Studies Gender Studies
Challenging Ethnic Citizenship
German and Israeli Perspectives on Immigration
Levy, D. & Weiss, Y.(eds)
In contrast to most other countries, both Germany and Israel have descent-based concepts of nationhood and have granted members of their nation (ethnic Germans and Jews) who wish to immigrate automatic access to their respective citizenship privileges. Therefore these two countries lend themselves well to comparative analysis of the integration process of immigrant groups, who are formally part of the collective "self" but increasingly transformed into "others." The book examines the integration of these 'privileged' immigrants in relation to the experiences of other minority groups (e.g. labor migrants, Palestinians).
This volume offers rich empirical and theoretical material involving historical developments, demographic changes, sociological problems, anthropological insights, and political implications. Focusing on the three dimensions of citizenship: sovereignty and control, the allocation of social and political rights, and questions of national self-understanding, the essays bring to light the elements that are distinctive for either society but also point to similarities that owe as much to nation-specific characteristics as to evolving patterns of global migration.
Subjects: Refugee & Migration Studies
Changing Identifications and Alliances in North-east Africa
Volume I: Ethiopia and Kenya
Schlee, G. & Watson, E. E. (eds)
Forms of group identity play a prominent role in everyday lives and politics in northeast Africa. Case studies from Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya illustrate the way that identities are formed and change over time, and how local, national, and international politics are interwoven. Specific attention is paid to the impact of modern weaponry, new technologies, religious conversion, food and land shortages, international borders, civil war, and displacement on group identities. Drawing on the expertise of anthropologists, historians and geographers, these volumes provide a significant account of a society profoundly shaped by identity politics and contribute to a better understanding of the nature of conflict and war, and forms of alliance and peacemaking, thus providing a comprehensive portrait of this troubled region.
Changing Identifications and Alliances in North-east Africa
Volume II: Sudan, Uganda, and the Ethiopia-Sudan Borderlands
Schlee, G. & Watson, E. E. (eds)
Forms of group identity play a prominent role in everyday lives and politics in north-east Africa. These volumes provide an interdisciplinary account of the nature and significance of ethnic, religious, and national identity in north-east Africa. Case studies from Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya illustrate the way that identities are formed and change over time, and how local, national, and international politics are interwoven. Specific attention is paid to the impact of modern weaponry, new technologies, religious conversion, food and land shortages, international borders, civil war, and displacement on group identities. Drawing on the expertise of anthropologists, historians and geographers, these volumes provide a significant account of a society profoundly shaped by identity politics and contribute to a better understanding of the nature of conflict and war, and forms of alliance and peacemaking, thus providing a comprehensive portrait of this troubled region.
Children and Youth on the Front Line
Ethnography, Armed Conflict and Displacement
Boyden, J. & Berry, J. de (eds)
War leads not just to widespread death but also to extensive displacement, overwhelming fear, and economic devastation. It weakens social ties, threatens household survival and undermines the family's capacity to care for its most vulnerable members. Every year it kills and maims countless numbers of young people, undermines thousands of others psychologically and deprives many of the economic, educational, health and social opportunities which most of us consider essential for children's effective growth and well being.
Based on detailed ethnographic description and on young people's own accounts, this volume provides insights into children's experiences as both survivors and perpetrators of violence. It focuses on girls who have been exposed to sexual exploitation and abuse, children who head households or are separated from their families, displaced children and young former combatants who are attempting to adjust to their changed circumstances following the cessation of conflict. In this sense, the volume bears witness to the grim effects of warfare and displacement on the young.
Nevertheless, despite the abundant evidence of suffering, it maintains that children are not the passive victims of conflict but engage actively with the conditions of war, an outlook that challenges orthodox research perspectives that rely heavily on medicalized notions of 'victim' and 'trauma.'
Children of Palestine
Experiencing Forced Migration in the Middle East
Chatty, D. & Hundt, G. (eds)
Palestinian children and young people living both within and outside of refugee camps in the Middle East are the focus of this book. For more than half a century these children and their caregivers have lived a temporary existence in the dramatic and politically volatile landscape that is the Middle East. These children have been captive to various sorts of stereotyping, both academic and popular. They have been objectified, much as their parents and grandparents, as passive victims without the benefit of international protection. And they have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages which presume the primacy of the Western model of child development as well as the psycho-social approach to intervention. Giving voice to individual children, in the context of their households and their community, this book aims to move beyond the stereotypes and Western-based models to explore the impact that forced migration and prolonged conflict have had, and continue to have, on the lives of these refugee children.
Conceptualizing Iranian Anthropology
Past and Present Perspectives
Nadjmabadi, S. (ed)
During recent years, attempts have been made to move beyond the Eurocentric perspective that characterized the social sciences, especially anthropology, for over 150 years. A debate on the “anthropology of anthropology” was needed, one that would consider other forms of knowledge, modalities of writing, and political and intellectual practices. This volume undertakes that challenge: it is the result of discussions held at the first organized encounter between Iranian, American, and European anthropologists since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. It is considered an important first step in overcoming the dichotomy between “peripheral anthropologies” versus “central anthropologies.” The contributors examine, from a critical perspective, the historical, cultural, and political field in which anthropological research emerged in Iran at the beginning of the twentieth century and in which it continues to develop today.
Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples
Displacement, Forced Settlement and Sustainable Development
Chatty, D. & Colchester, M. (eds)
Wildlife conservation and other environmental protection projects can have tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of the often mobile, difficult-to-reach, and marginal peoples who inhabit the same territory. The contributors to this collection of case studies, social scientists as well as natural scientists, are concerned with this human element in biodiversity. They examine the interface between conservation and indigenous communities forced to move or to settle elsewhere in order to accommodate environmental policies and biodiversity concerns. The case studies investigate successful and not so successful community-managed, as well as local participatory, conservation projects in Africa, the Middle East, South and South Eastern Asia, Australia and Latin America. There are lessons to be learned from recent efforts in community managed conservation and this volume significantly contributes to that discussion.
Cultural Diversity and the Empowerment of Minorities
Perspectives from Israel and Germany
Al-Haj, M. & Mielke, R. (eds)
Conflicts between different racial, ethnic, national and other social groups are becoming more and more salient. One of the main sources of these internal conflicts is social and economic inequality, in particular the increasing disparities between majority and minority groups. Even societies that had been successful in dealing with external conflicts and making the transition from war to peace have realized that this does not automatically resolve internal conflicts. On the contrary, the resolution of external conflicts may even sharpen the internal ones. This volume, a joint publication of the University of Haifa and the International Center for Graduate Studies (ICGS) at the University of Hamburg, addresses questions of how to deal with internal issues of social inequality and cultural diversity and, at the same time, how to build a shared civility among their different national, ethnic, religious and social groups.
Subjects: General Cultural Studies Educational Studies
Daily Life in the Abyss
Genocide Diaries, 1915-1918
Historical research into the Armenian Genocide has grown tremendously in recent years, but much of it has focused on large-scale questions related to Ottoman policy or the scope of the killing. Consequently, surprisingly little is known about the actual experiences of the genocide’s victims. Daily Life in the Abyss illuminates this aspect through the intertwined stories of two Armenian families who endured forced relocation and deprivation in and around modern-day Syria. Through analysis of diaries and other source material, it reconstructs the rhythms of daily life within an often bleak and hostile environment, in the face of a gradually disintegrating social fabric.
Subjects: Genocide Studies WWI History
Defiance and Compliance
Negotiating Gender in Low-Income Cairo
The gap between rich and poor is widening in most countries, putting more pressure on women in particular who often find themselves with the ultimate responsibility to provide for their families, especially their children, in the face of economic and political discrimination. Based on participant observation and in-depth interviews in four low-income neighborhoods in Cairo, this book offers rich, novel and intimate data relating to poor women's lives and everyday forms of resistance to gender inequalities in the labor market and at home. In contrast to the common stereotype of Middle Eastern women as totally oppressed and devoid of agency, this study shows the complex and diverse ways in which low-income women devise strategies to contest existing gender arrangements and improve their situation. It is a significant contribution to current debates about poverty, gender, power, and resistance.
Subjects: Gender Studies General Anthropology
Sahrawi and Afghan Refugees at the Margins of the Middle East
Chatty, D. (ed)
The Sahrawi and Afghan refugee youth in the Middle East have been stereotyped regionally and internationally: some have been objectified as passive victims; others have become the beneficiaries of numerous humanitarian aid packages which presume the primacy of the Western model of child development. This book compares and contrasts both the stereotypes and Western-based models of humanitarian assistance among Sahrawi youth with the lack of programming and near total self-sufficiency of Afghan refugee youth in Iran. Both extremes offer an important opportunity to further explore the impact which forced migration and prolonged conflict have had, and continue to have, on the lives of these refugee youth and their families. This study examines refugee communities closely linked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and a host of other UN agencies in the case of the Sahrawi and near total lack of humanitarian aid in the case of Afghan refugees in Iran.
Diamonds and War
State, Capital, and Labor in British-Ruled Palestine
De Vries, D.
The mining of diamonds, their trading mechanisms, their financial institutions, and, not least, their cultural expressions as luxury items have engaged the work of historians, economists, social scientists, and international relations experts. Based on previously unexamined historical documents found in archives in Belgium, England, Israel, the Netherlands, and the United States, this book is the first in English to tell the story of the formation of one of the world’s main strongholds of diamond production and trade in Palestine during the 1930s and 1940s. The history of the diamond-cutting industry, characterized by a long-standing Jewish presence, is discussed as a social history embedded in the international political economy of its times; the genesis of the industry in Palestine is placed on a broad continuum within the geographic and economic dislocations of Dutch, Belgian, and German diamond-cutting centers. In providing a micro-historical and interdisciplinary perspective, the story of the diamond industry in Mandate Palestine proposes a more nuanced picture of the uncritical approach to the strict boundaries of ethnic-based occupational communities. This book unravels the Middle-eastern pattern of state intervention in the empowerment of private capital and recasts this craft culture’s inseparability from international politics during a period of war and transformation of empire.
Subjects: Economic History 20th Century History
A Different Kind of War
The UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq
Sponeck, H.C. von
At a time when the international community is again threatening some countries with sanctions, this book comes as a warning. It should be mandatory reading for all those politicians and their foreign-policy advisors who continue to consider sanctions an effective form of policy. The author not only offers us a critical, lucid, and well-informed survey of political developments in Iraq, but also a heart-rending account of the suffering of the Iraqi people. It was they who bore the brunt of the 13-year's sanctions, while the members of Saddam's regime continued to live in luxury and accumulate huge fortunes.
H.-C. von Sponeck, the former “UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq,” explores the UN's sanction policies against Iraq, their consequences, and the domestic conditions during this period. His extensive research is based on previously unpublished internal UN documents and discussions with UN decision makers (such as General Secretary Kofi Annan), Iraqi officials and politicians (including Saddam Hussein), and ordinary Iraqis. The author’s findings question who really benefited from the program, what role the UN Security Council and its various member states played, and whether there were then and are today alternatives to the UN's Iraq policies.
Subject: Peace & Conflict Studies
Documenting Transnational Migration
Jordanian Men Working and Studying in Europe, Asia and North America
Most studies on transnational migration either stress assimilation, circulatory migration, or the negative impact of migration. This remarkable study, which covers migrants from one Jordanian village to 17 different countries in Europe, Asia, and North America, emphasizes the resiliency of transnational migrants after long periods of absence, social encapsulation, and stress, and their ability to construct social networks and reinterpret traditions in such a way as to mix the old and the new in a scenario that incorporates both worlds. Focusing on the humanistic aspects of the migration experience, this book examines questions such as birth control, women’s work, retention of tribal law, and the changing attitudes of migrants towards themselves, their families, their home communities, and their nation. It ends with placing transnational migration from Jordan in a cross-cultural perspective by comparing it with similar processes elsewhere, and critically reviews a number of theoretical perspectives that have been used to explain migration.
The Dream in Islam
From Qur'anic Tradition to Jihadist Inspiration
Edgar, I. R.
The war in the Middle East is marked by a lack of cultural knowledge on the part of the western forces, and this book deals with another, widely ignored element of Islam—the role of dreams in everyday life. The practice of using night dreams to make important life decisions can be traced to Middle Eastern dream traditions and practices that preceded the emergence of Islam. In this study, the author explores some key aspects of Islamic dream theory and interpretation as well as the role and significance of night dreams for contemporary Muslims. In his analysis of the Islamic debates surrounding the role of “true” dreams in historical and contemporary Islamic prophecy, the author specifically addresses the significance of Al-Qaeda and Taliban dream practices and ideology. Dreams of “heaven,” for example, are often instrumental in determining Jihadist suicidal action, and “heavenly” dreams are also evidenced within other contemporary human conflicts such as Israel–Palestine and Kosovo–Serbia. By exploring patterns of dreams within this context, a cross-cultural, psychological, and experiential understanding of the role and significance of such contemporary critical political and personal imagery can be achieved.
Subjects: General Anthropology Religion
Contemporary Jewish Collective Identities
Goldberg, H. E., Cohen, S. M., & Kopelowitz, E. (eds)
World Jewry today is concentrated in the US and Israel, and while distinctive Judaic approaches and practices have evolved in each society, parallels also exist. This volume offers studies of substantive and creative aspects of Jewish belonging. While research in Israel on Judaism has stressed orthodox or “extreme” versions of religiosity, linked to institutional life and politics, moderate and less systematized expressions of Jewish belonging are overlooked. This volume explores the fluid and dynamic nature of identity building among Jews and the many issues that cut across different Jewish groupings. An important contribution to scholarship on contemporary Jewry, it reveals the often unrecognized dynamism in new forms of Jewish identification and affiliation in Israel and in the Diaspora.
Subjects: Jewish Studies Sociology
Neoliberal Paradoxes of Empowerment
With the spread of neoliberal projects, responsibility for the welfare of minority and poor citizens has shifted from states to local communities. Businesses, municipalities, grassroots activists, and state functionaries share in projects meant to help vulnerable populations become self-supportive. Ironically, such projects produce odd discursive blends of justice, solidarity, and wellbeing, and place the languages of feminist and minority rights side by side with the language of apolitical consumerism. Using theoretical concepts of economic citizenship and emotional capitalism, Economic Citizenship exposes the paradoxes that are deep within neoliberal interpretations of citizenship and analyzes the unexpected consequences of applying globally circulating notions to concrete local contexts.
Subjects: General Anthropology Gender Studies Sociology
Generation, Mobility and Relatedness among Pakistani Migrants in Denmark
Pakistani migrant families in Denmark find themselves in a specific ethno-national, post-9/11 environment where Muslim immigrants are subjected to processes of non-recognition, exclusion and securitization. This ethnographic study explores how, why, and at what costs notions of relatedness, identity, and belonging are being renegotiated within local families and transnational kinship networks. Each entry point concerns the destructive–productive constitution of family life, where neglected responsibilities, obligations, and trust lead not only to broken relationships, but also, and inevitably, to the innovative creation of new ones. By connecting the micro-politics of the migrant family with the macro-politics of the nation state and global conjunctures in general, the book argues that securitization and suspicion—launched in the name of “integration”—escalate internal community dynamics and processes of family upheaval in unpredicted ways.
Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey
The Management of Natural Resources, Knowledge and Identity on the Eastern Black Sea Coast
Through the ethnography and history of fish production, seafood consumption, state modernizing policies and marine science, this book analyzes the role of local knowledge in the management of marine resources on the Eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. Fishing, science and other ways of knowing and relating to fish and the sea are analyzed as particular ways of life conditioned by history, ideology and daily practice. The approach adopted here allows for a broader analysis of the role knowledge plays in the management of common pool resources (CPR) than is provided in much of the contemporary CPR debate that tends to have a somewhat narrow focus on institutions and rules. By contrast, the author argues that also local knowledge and the larger historical and ideological context of production, as manifest in state modernization policies and consumption patterns, should be taken into account when trying to explain the current management regime in Turkish Black Sea fisheries.
Germany and the Middle East
From Kaiser Wilhelm II to Angela Merkel
For over a century, the Middle East has weathered seemingly endless conflicts, ensnaring political players from around the world. And perhaps no nation has displayed a greater range of policies toward, and experiences in, the region than Germany, as this short and accessible volume demonstrates. Beginning with Kaiser Wilhelm’s intermittent support for Zionism, it follows the course of German-Mideast relations through two world wars and the rise of Adolf Hitler. As Steininger shows, the crimes of the Third Reich have inevitably shaped postwar German Mideast policy, with Germany emerging as one of Israel’s staunchest supporters while continuing to navigate the region’s complex international, religious, and energy politics.
Subject: 20th Century History
Global Ambitions and Local Identities
An Israeli-American High-Tech Merger
Until recently, international mergers of companies have been seen as purely financial ventures without any concern for what they meant for the people involved. However, attitudes are gradually changing. This study of a successful Israeli high-tech company's merger with an American competitor offers an important contribution to a better understanding of the social and personal ramifications of mergers. Based upon in-depth fieldwork, the book explores the reality behind the statistics, balance sheets, and managerial prescriptions that are the focus of most studies of international mergers and acquisitions. Offering a richly detailed description of everyday work life, the author reveals the dramas of identity that unfold as a consequence of the company's attempts to redefine the boundaries of the organizational collective by adding to it people from another country. The book debunks many myths used to support arguments both for and against globalization and offers instead an in-depth depiction and a grounded assessment of its everyday realities.
Subject: Applied Anthropology
The Great Immigration
Russian Jews in Israel
More than 750,000 Russian Jews arrived in Israel between 1988 and 1996. However, this Great Immigration, as it has been called, has gone largely unnoticed in Israeli public life. Information about this significant event has been sketchy and largely characterized by stereotypes and simplistic generalizations. Based on a number of case studies, this book offers the first in-depth analysis of the life of the new Russian-Jewish immigrants and of the interaction between them and other Israeli citizens. The author explores the peculiar set of problems that the immigrants from the former Soviet Union have been facing and shows how the newcomers, by sheer number, were able to exploit their skills and capacity for political mobilization, to resist bureaucratic control and cultural assimilation. Adaptation did take place but resulted in new institutions and formations of class and leadership. The integration of such vast numbers of immigrants over a relatively short period is a considerable challenge for a society by any standards, but must certainly be considered a unique phenomenon for a relatively small country such as Israel.
The Hadrami Diaspora
Community-Building on the Indian Ocean Rim
The Hadramis of South Yemen and the emergence of their diasporic communities throughout the Indian Ocean region are an intriguing facet of the history of this region’s migratory patterns. In the early centuries of migration, the Yemeni, or Hadrami, traveler was both a trader and a religious missionary, making the migrant community both a “trade diaspora” and a “religious diaspora.” This tradition has continued as Hadramis around the world have been linked to networks of extremist, Islamic-inspired movements—Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda and descendant of a prominent Hadrami family, as the most infamous example. However, communities of Hadramis living outside Yemen are not homogenous. The author expertly elucidates the complexity of the diasporic process, showing how it contrasts with the conventional understanding of the Hadrami diaspora as an unchanging society with predefined cultural characteristics originating in the homeland. Exploring ethnic, social, and religious aspects, the author offers a deepened understanding of links between Yemen and Indian Ocean regions (including India, Southeast Asia, and the Horn of Africa) and the emerging international community of Muslims.
Having and Belonging
Homes and Museums in Israel
The home and the museum are typically understood as divergent, even oppositional, social realms: whereas one evokes privacy and familial intimacy, the other is conceived of as a public institution oriented around various forms of civic identity. This meticulous, insightful book draws striking connections between both spheres, which play similar roles by housing objects and generating social narratives. Through fascinating explorations of the museums and domestic spaces of eight representative Israeli communities—Chabad, Moroccan, Iraqi, Ethiopian, Russian, Religious-Zionist, Christian Arab, and Muslim Arab—it gives a powerful account of museums’ role in state formation, proposing a new approach to collecting and categorizing particularly well-suited to societies in conflict.
Immigrants and Bureaucrats
Ethiopians in an Israeli Absorption Center
Since Israel is primarily a country of immigrants, the state takes on the responsibility for the settlement and integration of each new group. It therefore sees its role as benevolent and indispensable to the welfare of the immigrants. This be true to some extent. However, the overwhelming effect, the author argues, is exactly the opposite: in her study of Ethiopian immigrants she reaches the conclusion that the absorption centers, which are central to Israeli immigration policy, present an extreme case of bureaucratic control over immigrants; they hinder rather than facilitate integration through the creation of power-dependence relations, with immigrants - whose lives and social structures are constantly interfered with by the officials - being cast as weak, defenseless and needy. They are reduced to helpless charges of these officials whose main goals are to expand and perpetuate their respective organizations and to consolidate their own positions within them. Thus the absorption centers, rather than furthering integration, create dependence on state control and social segregation.
Perspectives on Gulf War Syndrome, Vulnerability and Masculinity
From September 1990 to June 1991, the UK deployed 53,462 military personnel in the Gulf War. After the end of the conflict anecdotal reports of various disorders affecting troops who fought in the Gulf began to surface. This mysterious illness was given the name “Gulf War Syndrome” (GWS). This book is an investigation into this recently emergent illness, particularly relevant given ongoing UK deployments to Iraq, describing how the illness became a potent symbol for a plethora of issues, anxieties, and concerns. At present, the debate about GWS is polarized along two lines: there are those who think it is a unique, organic condition caused by Gulf War toxins and those who argue that it is probably a psychological condition that can be seen as part of a larger group of illnesses. Using the methods and perspective of anthropology, with its focus on nuances and subtleties, the author provides a new approach to understanding GWS, one that makes sense of the cultural circumstances, specific and general, which gave rise to the illness.
In Pursuit of Belonging
Forging an Ethical Life in European-Turkish Spaces
Rottmann, S, B.
Belonging is a not a state that we achieve, but a struggle that we wage. The struggle for belonging is more difficult if one is returning to a homeland after many years abroad. In Pursuit of Belonging is an ethnography of Turkish migrants’ struggle for understanding, intimacy and appreciation when they return from Germany to their Turkish homeland. Drawing on an established tradition of life story writing in anthropology, Rottmann conveys the struggle to forge an ethical life by relating the experiences of a second-generation German-Turkish woman named Leyla.
In the Best Interests of the Child
Loss and Suffering in Adoption Proceedings
Marshalling her experience as an expert witness in court proceedings on non-consensual, confidential adoption in Israel, Mass describes legal proceedings following the Israeli state petition that declares children eligible for adoption because of alleged parental incapability, and explores the politics of state intervention in the parent/child relationship. The selected case studies present the testimonies of the children, the parents, the designated adoptive parents, and the state’s representatives, as well as the author’s own testimony.
Indigenous Medicine Among the Bedouin in the Middle East
Modern medicine has penetrated Bedouin tribes in the course of rapid urbanization and education, but when serious illnesses strike, particularly in the case of incurable diseases, even educated people turn to traditional medicine for a remedy. Over the course of 30 years, the author gathered data on traditional Bedouin medicine among pastoral-nomadic, semi-nomadic, and settled tribes. Based on interviews with healers, clients, and other active participants in treatments, this book will contribute to renewed thinking about a synthesis between traditional and modern medicine — to their reciprocal enrichment.
Subject: Medical Anthropology
Islam and Assisted Reproductive Technologies
Sunni and Shia Perspectives
Inhorn, M. C. & Tremayne, S. (eds)
How and to what extent have Islamic legal scholars and Middle Eastern lawmakers, as well as Middle Eastern Muslim physicians and patients, grappled with the complex bioethical, legal, and social issues that are raised in the process of attempting to conceive life in the face of infertility? This path-breaking volume explores the influence of Islamic attitudes on Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) and reveals the variations in both the Islamic jurisprudence and the cultural responses to ARTs.
Subject: Medical Anthropology
Islam and New Kinship
Reproductive Technology and the Shariah in Lebanon
Assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization have provoked global controversy and ethical debate. This book provides a groundbreaking investigation into those debates in the Islamic Middle East, simultaneously documenting changing ideas of kinship and the evolving role of religious authority in the region through a combination of in-depth field research in Lebanon and an exhaustive survey of the Islamic legal literature. Lebanon, home to both Sunni and Shiite Muslim communities, provides a valuable site through which to explore the overall dynamism and diversity of global Islamic debate. As this book shows, Muslim perspectives focus on the moral propriety of such controversial procedures as the use of donor sperm and eggs as well as surrogacy arrangements, which are allowed by some authorities using surprising and innovative legal arguments. These arguments challenge common stereotypes of the rigidity and conservatism of Islamic law and compel us to question conventional contrasts between ‘liberal’ and Islamic notions of moral freedom, as well as the epistemological assumptions of anthropology’s own ‘new kinship studies’. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary Islam and the impact of reproductive technology on the global social imaginary.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology Religion Gender Studies
Israel and the Daughters of the Shoah
Reoccupying the Territories of Silence
The murder of a third of Europe's Jews by the Nazis is unquestionably the worst catastrophe in the history of contemporary Judaism and a formative event in the history of Zionism and the State of Israel. Understandably, therefore, the Shoah, written about, analyzed, and given various political interpretations, has shaped public discourse in the history of the State of Israel. The key element of Shoah in the Israeli context is victimhood and as such it has become a source of shame, shrouded in silence and subordinated to the dominant discourse which, resulting from the construction of a "new Hebrew" active subjectivity, taught the postwar generation of Israelis to reject diaspora Jewry and its alleged passivity in the face of catastrophe.
This book is the culmination of years of preoccupation with the meaning of the Shoah for the author, an Israeli woman with a "split subjectivity: - that of a daughter of a family of Shoah survivors, and that of a daughter of the first Israeli-born generation; the culmination of her need to break the silence about the Shoah in a society which constructed itself as the Israeli antithesis to diaspora Jewry, and to excavate a "truth" from underneath the mountain of Zionist nation-building myths. These myths, the author argues, not only had deep implication for the formation of her generation but also a profound impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, they are shot through with images of the "masculine" Israeli, constrasted with those of the weak, passive, non-virile Jewish "Other" of the diaspora. This book offers the first gendered analysis of Israeli society and the Shoah. The author employs personal narratives of nine Israeli daughters of Shoah survivors, writers and film makers, and a feminist re-reading of official and unofficial Israeli and Zionist discourses to explore the ways in which the relationship between Israel and the Shoah has been gendered in that the Shoah was "feminized" while Israel was "masculinized." This new perspective has considerable implications for the analysis of Israeli society; a gendered analysis of Israeli construction of nation reveals how the Shoah and Shoah discourse are exploited to justify Israel's, i.e. the "new Hebrew's," self-perceived right of occupation. Israel thus not only negated the Jewish diaspora, but also stigmatized and feminized Shoah victims and survivors, all the while employing Shoah discourses as an excuse for occupation, both in the past and in the present.
Subjects: Genocide Studies Gender Studies Jewish Studies
Israel and the Diaspora in Jewish Law
Essays and Responsa
Jacob†, W. & Zemer†, M. (eds)
THE FREEHOF INSTITUTE OF PROGRESSIVE HALAKHAH
The Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah is a creative research center devoted to studying and defining the progressive character of the halakhah in accordance with the principles and theology of Reform Judaism. It seeks to establish the ideological basis of Progressive halakhah, and its application to daily life. The Institute fosters serious studies, and helps scholars in various portions of the world to work together for a common cause. It provides an ongoing forum through symposia, and publications including the quarterly newsletter, HalakhaH, published under the editorship of Walter Jacob, in the United States. The foremost halakhic scholars in the Reform, Liberal, and Progressive rabbinate along with some Conservative and Orthodox colleagues as well as university professors serve on our Academic Council.
Subject: Jewish Studies
Jews and Arabs Facing the Self and the Other
The question of identity is one of present-day Israel’s cardinal and most pressing issues. In a comprehensive examination of the identity issue, this study focuses on attitudes toward the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora; the Holocaust and its repercussions on identity; attitudes toward the state of Israel and Zionism; and attitudes toward Jewish religion. Israeli Arab students (Israeli Palestinians) and Jewish Israeli students were asked corresponding questions regarding their identity. It was found that, rather than lessening its impact over the years, the Holocaust has become a major factor, at times the paramount factor in Jewish identity. Similarly, among Palestinians the Naqba has become a major factor in Palestinian-Israeli identity. However, the overall results show that the identity of a Jewish citizen of Israel is not purely Israeli, nor is it purely Jewish. It is, to varying degrees, a synthesis of Jewish and Israeli components, depending on the particular sub-groups or sub-identities. The same holds for Israeli-Arabs or Israeli-Palestinians who have neither a purely Israeli identity nor a purely Palestinian (or Arab) one.
Subjects: Jewish Studies Sociology
Kin, Gene, Community
Reproductive Technologies among Jewish Israelis
Birenbaum-Carmeli, D. & Carmeli, Y.S. (eds)
Israel is the only country in the world that offers free fertility treatments to nearly any woman who requires medical assistance. It also has the world's highest per capita usage of in-vitro fertilization. Examining state policies and the application of reproductive technologies among Jewish Israelis, this volume explores the role of tradition and politics in the construction of families within local Jewish populations. The contributors—anthropologists, bioethicists, jurists, physicians and biologists—highlight the complexities surrounding these treatments and show how biological relatedness is being construed as a technology of power; how genetics is woven into the production of identities; how reproductive technologies enhance the policing of boundaries. Donor insemination, IVF and surrogacy, as well as abortion, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and human embryonic stem cell research, are explored within local and global contexts to convey an informed perspective on the wider Jewish Israeli environment.
Subjects: Medical Anthropology
Let Them Not Return
Sayfo – The Genocide Against the Assyrian, Syriac, and Chaldean Christians in the Ottoman Empire
Gaunt, D., Atto, N., & Barthoma, S. O. (eds)
The mass killing of Ottoman Armenians is today widely recognized, both within and outside scholarly circles, as an act of genocide. What is less well known, however, is that it took place within a broader context of Ottoman violence against minority groups during and after the First World War. Among those populations decimated were the indigenous Christian Assyrians (also known as Syriacs or Chaldeans) who lived in the borderlands of present-day Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. This volume is the first scholarly edited collection focused on the Assyrian genocide, or “Sayfo” (literally, “sword” in Aramaic), presenting historical, psychological, anthropological, and political perspectives that shed much-needed light on a neglected historical atrocity.
Subjects: Genocide Studies 20th Century History
Made In Egypt
Gendered Identity and Aspiration on the Globalised Shop Floor
Chakravarti, L. Z.
This ground-breaking ethnography of an export-orientated garment assembly factory in Egypt examines the dynamic relationships between its managers – emergent Mubarak-bizniz (business) elites who are caught in an intensely competitive globalized supply chain – and the local daily-life realities of their young, educated, and mixed-gender labour force. Constructions of power and resistance, as well as individual aspirations and identities, are explored through articulations of class, gender and religion in both management discourses and shop floor practices. Leila Chakravarti’s compelling study also moves beyond the confines of the factory, examining the interplay with the wider world around it.
Subjects: Gender Studies General Anthropology Sociology
Marginal At the Center
The Life Story of a Public Sociologist
A self-proclaimed guerrilla fighter for ideas, Baruch Kimmerling was an outspoken critic, a prolific writer, and a “public” sociologist. While he lived at the center of the Israeli society in which he was involved as both a scientist and a concerned citizen, he nevertheless felt marginal because of his unconventional worldview, his empathy for the oppressed, and his exceptional sense of universal justice, which were at odds with prevailing views. In this autobiography, the author, who was born in Transylvania in 1939 with cerebral palsy, describes how he and his family escaped the Nazis and the circumstances that brought them to Israel, the development of his understanding of Israeli and Palestinian histories, of the narratives each society tells itself, and of the implacable “situation”—along with predictions of some of the most disturbing developments that are taking place right now as well as solutions he hoped were still possible. Kimmerling’s deep concern for Israel's well-being, peace, and success also reveals that he was in effect a devoted Zionist, contrary to the claims of his detractors. He dreamed of a genuinely democratic Israel, a country able to embrace all of its citizens without discrimination and to adopt peace as its most important objective. It is to this dream that this posthumous translation from Hebrew has been dedicated.
Subjects: Sociology Jewish Studies
Mass Communication In Israel
Nationalism, Globalization, and Segmentation
Mass communication has long been recognized as an important contributor to national identity and nation building. This book examines the relationship between media and nationalism in Israel, arguing that, in comparison to other countries, the Israeli case is unique. It explores the roots and evolution of newspapers, journalism, radio, television, and the debut of the Internet on both the cultural and the institutional levels, and examines milestones in the socio-political development of Hebrew and Israeli mass communication. In evaluating the technological changes in the media, the book shows how such shifts contribute to segmentation and fragmentation in the age of globalization.
Subject: Media Studies
Conflict, Emotions, and the Enemy in an Israeli Army Unit
Studies of the military that deal with the actual experience of troops in the field are still rare in the social sciences. In fact, this ethnographic study of an elite unit in the Israeli Defense Force is the only one of its kind. As an officer of this unit and a professional anthropologist, the author was ideally positioned for his role as participant observer. During the eight years he spent with his unit he focused primarily on such notions as "conflict", "the enemy", and "soldiering" because they are, he argues, the key points of reference for "what we are" and "what we are trying to do" and form the basis for interpreting the environment within which armies operate. Relying on the latest anthropological approaches to cognitive models and the social constructions of emotion and masculinity, the author offers an in-depth analysis of the dynamics that drive the men's attitudes and behavior, and a rare and fascinating insight into the reality of military life.
The Men We Loved
Male Friendship and Nationalism in Israeli Culture
Some semi-public, exclusive male settings, most noticeably in the military, encourage the production of intimacy and desire. Yet whereas in most instances this desire is displaced through humor and aggressive gestures, it becomes acknowledged and outright declared once associated with sites of heroic death. In his provocative study of interrelations between friendship in everyday life and national sentiments in Israel, the author follows selected stories of friendship ranging over early childhood, school, the workplace, and some unique war experiences. He explores the symbolism of friendship in rituals for the fallen soldiers, the commemoration of Prime Minister Yzhak Rabin, and the national infatuation with recovering bodies of missing soldiers. He concludes that the Israeli case offers an extreme instance of a much broader cultural phenomenon: declaring the friendship for the dead epitomizes the political “blood pact” between men, taking precedence over the traditional blood ties of kinship and heterosexual unions. The book underscores nationalism as a homosocial-based emotion of commemorative desire.
Miners and the State in the Ottoman Empire
The Zonguldak Coalfield, 1822-1920
The story of the miners of Zonguldak presents a particularly graphic local lens through which to examine questions that have been of major concern to historians—most prominently, the development of the state, the emergence of capitalism, and the role of the working classes in these large processes. This book examines such major issues through the actual experiences of coal miners in the Ottoman Empire. The encounters of mine workers with state mining officials and private mine operators do not follow the expected patterns of labor-state-capital relations as predicted by the major explanatory paradigms of modernization or dependency. Indeed, as the author clearly shows, few of the outcomes are as predicted. The fate of these miners has much to offer both Ottoman and Middle East specialists as well as scholars of the developing world and, more generally, those interested in the connections between economic development and social and political change.
Nazism, the Holocaust, and the Middle East
Arab and Turkish Responses
Nicosia, F. R. & Ergene, B. A. (eds)
Given their geographical separation from Europe, ethno-religious and cultural diversity, and subordinate status within the Nazi racial hierarchy, Middle Eastern societies were both hospitable as well as hostile to National Socialist ideology during the 1930s and 1940s. By focusing on Arab and Turkish reactions to German anti-Semitism and the persecution and mass-murder of European Jews during this period, this expansive collection surveys the institutional and popular reception of Nazism in the Middle East and North Africa. It provides nuanced and scholarly yet accessible case studies of the ways in which nationalism, Islam, anti-Semitism, and colonialism intertwined, all while sensitive to the region’s political, cultural, and religious complexities.
Subjects: Genocide Studies Jewish Studies
The Neoliberal Landscape and the Rise of Islamist Capital in Turkey
Balkan, N., Balkan, E. & Öncü, A. (eds)
Islamist capital accumulation has split the Turkish bourgeoisie and polarized Turkish society into secular and religious social groupings, giving rise to conflicts between the state and political Islam. By providing a long-term historical perspective on Turkey's economy and its relationship to Islamism, this volume explores how Islamism as a political ideology has been utilized by the conservative bourgeoisie in Turkey, and elsewhere, to establish hegemony over labor. The contributors analyze the relationship between neoliberalism and the political fortunes of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), and examine the similarities and differences amongst new factions in the secular and Islamic middle class that have benefited economically, socially, and culturally during the AKP's reign. The articles also investigate the impact of the Gülen Movement and the role of the media in shaping the contours of intra-class struggle within contemporary Turkish political and social life.
Subject: Political Economy
The Politics of Education Reform in the Middle East
Self and Other in Textbooks and Curricula
Alayan, S., Rohde, A., & Dhouib, S. (eds)
Education systems and textbooks in selected countries of the Middle East are increasingly the subject of debate. This volume presents and analyzes the major trends as well as the scope and the limits of education reform initiatives undertaken in recent years. In curricula and teaching materials, representations of the “Self” and the “Other” offer insights into the contemporary dynamics of identity politics. By building on a network of scholars working in various countries in the Middle East itself, this book aims to contribute to the evolution of a field of comparative education studies in this region.
Subjects: Educational Studies Sociology
Portraits of Hope
Armenians in the Contemporary World
Voss, Huberta von (ed)
Elie Wiesel called the genocide of the Armenians during the First World War ‘the Holocaust before the Holocaust’. Around one and a half million Armenians - men, women and children – were slaughtered at the time of the First World War. This book outlines some of the historical facts and consequences of the massacres but sees it as its main objective to present the Armenians to the foreign reader, their history but also their lives and achievements in the present that finds most Armenians dispersed throughout the world. 3000 years after their appearance in history, 1700 years after adopting Christianity and almost 90 years after the greatest catastrophe in their history, these 50 ‘biographical sketches of intellectuals, artists, journalists, and others…produce a complicated kaleidoscope of a divided but lively people that is trying once again, to rediscover its ethnic coherence. Armenian civilization does not consist solely of stories about a far-off past, but also of traditions and a national conscience suggestive of a future that will transcend the present.’ [from the Preface]
Subjects: 20th Century History General Cultural Studies
Explorations of Urban Coexistence
Humphrey, C. & Skvirskaja, V. (eds)
Examining the way people imagine and interact in their cities, this book explores the post-cosmopolitan city. The contributors consider the effects of migration, national, and religious revivals (with their new aesthetic sensibilities), the dispositions of marginalized economic actors, and globalized tourism on urban sociality. The case studies here share the situation of having been incorporated in previous political regimes (imperial, colonial, socialist) that one way or another created their own kind of cosmopolitanism, and now these cities are experiencing the aftermath of these regimes while being exposed to new national politics and migratory flows of people.
Sharing Space in the Shadow of Conflict
Bryant, R. (ed)
In Southeast Europe, the Balkans, and Middle East, scholars often refer to the “peaceful coexistence” of various religious and ethnic groups under the Ottoman Empire before ethnonationalist conflicts dissolved that shared space and created legacies of division. Post-Ottoman Coexistence interrogates ways of living together and asks what practices enabled centuries of cooperation and sharing, as well as how and when such sharing was disrupted. Contributors discuss both historical and contemporary practices of coexistence within the context of ethno-national conflict and its aftermath.
Subjects: Peace & Conflict Studies Sociology
(Re)constructing Armenia in Lebanon and Syria
Ethno-Cultural Diversity and the State in the Aftermath of a Refugee Crisis
For almost nine decades, since their mass-resettlement to the Levant in the wake of the Genocide and First World War, the Armenian communities of Lebanon and Syria appear to have successfully maintained a distinct identity as an ethno-culturally diverse group, in spite of representing a small non-Arab and Christian minority within a very different, mostly Arab and Muslim environment. The author shows that, while in Lebanon the state has facilitated the development of an extensive and effective system of Armenian ethno-cultural preservation, in Syria the emergence of centralizing, authoritarian regimes in the 1950s and 1960s has severely damaged the autonomy and cultural diversity of the Armenian community. Since 1970, the coming to power of the Asad family has contributed to a partial recovery of Armenian ethno-cultural diversity, as the community seems to have developed some form of tacit arrangement with the regime. In Lebanon, on the other hand, the Armenian community suffered the consequences of the recurrent breakdown of the consociational arrangement that regulates public life. In both cases the survival of Armenian cultural distinctiveness seems to be connected, rather incidentally, with the continuing ‘search for legitimacy’ of the state.
Refugee Policy in Sudan 1967-1984
Based on the work of Ahmed Karadawi, Refugee Policy in Sudan discusses Sudanese government policy towards the refugee flows from Ethiopia into the Eastern Region of Sudan in theperiod 1967 to 1984, arguing that there were two underlying assumptions behind successive governments' policies: that refugees were considered a security threat and a socio-economic burden. In response,the policies incorporated the Organization of African Unity norms, which offered a platform to depoliticise the refugees, equally with the international conventions relating to refugees, which assured the externalization of responsibility and access to aid. This prescription, however, ignored the dynamism of the conflict that continued to generate refugees - and, as numbers accumulated in Sudan, the international aid regime did not act as a willing partner of the government. The consequences of a sizeable refugee population revealed a serious conflict of priorities, not only within the Sudanese government of the day, but also between the government and aid donors - thus, the objectives of the government policy were seriously undermined.
Religion and Nation
Iranian Local and Transnational Networks in Britain
An estimated 75,000 Iranians emigrated to Britain after the 1979 revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. They are politically, religiously, socio-economically and ethnically heterogeneous, and have found themselves in the ongoing process of settlement. The aim of this book is to explore facets of this process by examining the ways in which religious traditions and practices have been maintained, negotiated and rejected by Iranians from Muslim backgrounds and how they have served as identity-building vehicles during the course of migration, in relation to the political, economic, and social situation in Iran and Britain. While the ethnographic focus is on Iranians, this book touches on more general questions associated with the process of migration, transnational societies, Diasporas, and religious as well as ethnic minorities.
Education, Neoliberalism, and the Rise of the New Middle Class in Istanbul
Rutz, H. J. & Balkan, E. M.
Middle classes are by definition ambiguous, raising all sorts of paradoxical questions, perceived and real, about their power and place relative to those above and below them in a class-structured society. Focusing on families of the new middle class in Istanbul, the authors of this study address questions about the social construction of middle-class reality in the context of the rapid changes that have come about through recent economic growth in global markets and the global diffusion of information technology. After 1980, Turkey saw a structural transformation from state-owned and managed industry, banking, and media and communications to privatization and open markets. The idea of being middle class and the reality of middle-class practices became open for negotiation and interpretation. This study therefore offers a particularly interesting case study of an emergent global phenomenon known as the transnational middle class, characterized by their location of work in globalizing cities, development of transnational social networks, sumptuary consumption habits, and residences in gated communities. As the authors show, this new middle class associates quality education, followed by property and lifestyle issues, with the concept of a comfortable life.
Subjects: Political Economy General Anthropology
The Rite of Urban Passage
The Spatial Ritualization of Iranian Urban Transformation
The Iranian city experienced a major transformation when the Pahlavi Dynasty initiated a project of modernization in the 1920s. The Rite of Urban Passage investigates this process by focusing on the spatial dynamics of Muharram processions, a ritual that commemorates the tragic massacre of Hussein and his companions in 680 CE. In doing so, this volume offers not only an alternative approach to understanding the process of urban transformation, but also a spatial genealogy of Muharram rituals that provides a platform for developing a fresh spatial approach to ritual studies.
Subjects: General Anthropology Urban Studies Religion
Language and Culture among the ultra-Orthodox in Israel
Despite its outwardly static and traditional appearance, the Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) world is engaged in a constant cultural dialogue with modernity. This dialogue is exceptionally visible in the realm of language as shown in this study that examines the language and culture of four ultra-Orthodox groups found in Israel: the Ashkenazi (European) Mitnagdim-Lithuanians, and the Oriental Sefaradi Haredim. After the presentation of the historical background of the four sects, the author analyzes the public and private domains, focusing on language as used in many different forms and situations, and on the management of language. He furthermore compares the language policies of British, American, and French Haredim belonging to the Habad, Gur, Mitnagdic and Sefaradi sects to those in Israel and finds many similarities between the groups. The book concludes with the proposal of an interdisciplinary model, based on the Haredi case study, which can be used by language planners worldwide to understand the issues of language maintenance and loss among ethnic and ethno-religious minorities.
Subject: Jewish Studies
Settling for Less
The Planned Resettlement of Israel's Negev Bedouin
Dinero, S. C.
The resettlement of the Negev Bedouin (Israel) has been wrought with controversy since its inception in the 1960s. Presenting evidence from a two-decade period, the author addresses how the changes that took place over the past sixty to seventy years have served the needs and interests of the State rather than those of Bedouin community at large. While town living fostered improvements in social and economic development, numerous unintended consequences jeopardized the success of this planning initiative. As a result, the Bedouin community endured excessive hardship and rapid change, abandoning its nomadic lifestyle and traditions in response to the economic, political, and social pressure from the State—and received very little in return.
Subjects: Development Studies General Anthropology
Shakespeare and the Arab World
Hennessey, K. & Litvin, M. (eds)
Offering a variety of perspectives on the history and role of Arab Shakespeare translation, production, adaptation and criticism, this volume explores both international and locally focused Arab/ic appropriations of Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. In addition to Egyptian and Palestinian theatre, the contributors to this collection examine everything from an Omani performance in Qatar and an Upper Egyptian television series to the origin of the sonnets to an English-language novel about the Lebanese civil war. Addressing materials produced in several languages from literary Arabic (fuṣḥā) and Egyptian colloquial Arabic (‘ammiyya) to Swedish and French, these scholars and translators vary in discipline and origin, and together exhibit the diversity and vibrancy of this field.
Subject: General Cultural Studies
Zionist Dreams for Israeli Youth
At the core of the author's concern stands the question of cultural transmutation in an era riddled with media channels and all-embracing messages. Fragments of the Israeli experience are pieced together in this provocative essay to provide a socio-anthropological agenda for some of the issues involved in the manufacturing of items of symbolic solidarity and common national imagery in an epoch of social disunification and cultural pastiche. The author argues that even though the aesthetic forms of major cultural idioms have unrecognizably altered and are accommodated to befit the shape and style of post-modern living, the basic programs underlying them have remained immutable. Furthermore, it is the quality of adaptability to changing aesthetic conventions that allow such symbolic corner-stones to be left unturned. The case of the youth culture is chose here as a yardstick for examining the double voice of such process - the global versus the tribal.
Subject: General Anthropology
Soldiering Under Occupation
Processes of Numbing among Israeli Soldiers in the Al-Aqsa Intifada
Often, violent behavior or harassment from a soldier is dismissed by the military as unacceptable acts by individuals termed, “rotten apples.” In this study, the author argues that this dismissal is unsatisfactory and that there is an urgent need to look at the (mis)behavior of soldiers from a structural point of view. When soldiers serve as an occupational force, they find themselves in a particular situation influenced by structural circumstances that heavily influence their behavior and moral decision-making. This study focuses on young Israeli men and their experiences as combat soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), particularly those who served in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories” (OPT) during the “Al Aqsa Intifada,” which broke out in 2000. In describing the soldiers’ circumstances, especially focusing on space, the study shows how processes of numbing on different levels influence the (moral) behavior of these soldiers.
Subjects: Peace & Conflict Studies General Anthropology
The Spirit of the Laws
The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide
Akçam, T. & Kurt, U
Pertinent to contemporary demands for reparations from Turkey is the relationship between law and property in connection with the Armenian Genocide. This book examines the confiscation of Armenian properties during the genocide and subsequent attempts to retain seized Armenian wealth. Through the close analysis of laws and treaties, it reveals that decrees issued during the genocide constitute central pillars of the Turkish system of property rights, retaining their legal validity, and although Turkey has acceded through international agreements to return Armenian properties, it continues to refuse to do so. The book demonstrates that genocides do not depend on the abolition of the legal system and elimination of rights, but that, on the contrary, the perpetrators of genocide manipulate the legal system to facilitate their plans.
Subjects: Genocide Studies WWI History
State Practices and Zionist Images
Shaping Economic Development in Arab Towns in Israel
Although the Israeli state subscribes to the principles of administrative fairness and equality for Jews and Arabs before the law, the reality looks very different. Focusing on Arab land loss inside Israel proper and the struggle over development resources, this study explores the interaction between Arab local authorities, their Jewish neighbors, and the agencies of the national government in regard to developing local and regional industrial areas. The author avoids reduction to simple models of binary domination, revealing instead a complex, multi-dimensional field of relations and ever-shifting lines of political maneuver and confrontation. He examines the prevailing concept of ethnic traditionalism and argues that the image of Arab traditionalism erects imaginary boundaries around the Arab localities, making government incursion disappear from view, while underpinning and rationalizing the exclusion of the Arab towns from development planning. Moreover, he shows how images of environmental protection mesh with and support such exclusion. The study includes a chronology of events, tables, maps, and photographs.
This revised paperback edition with a new epilogue brings accounts of Arab land loss and struggles for economic development up to date. The author also deals with the challenges of life and research in Israel and examines the possibilities of sharing the land as the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians.
Subjects: General Anthropology Political Economy
Strike Action and Nation Building
Labor Unrest in Palestine/Israel, 1899-1951
De Vries, D.
Strike-action has long been a notable phenomenon in Israeli society, despite forces that have weakened its recurrence, such as the Arab-Jewish conflict, the decline of organized labor, and the increasing precariousness of employment. While the impact of strikes was not always immense, they are deeply rooted in Israel's past during the Ottoman Empire and Mandate Palestine. Workers persist in using them for material improvement and to gain power in both the private and public sectors, reproducing a vibrant social practice whose codes have withstood the test of time. This book unravels the trajectory of the strikes as a rich source for the social-historical analysis of an otherwise nation-oriented and highly politicized history.
Subject: 20th Century History
An Appraisal from the Gulf Region
Sillitoe, P. (ed)
With growing evidence of unsustainable use of the world’s resources, such as hydrocarbon reserves, and related environmental pollution, as in alarming climate change predictions, sustainable development is arguably the prominent issue of the 21st century. This volume gives a wide ranging introduction focusing on the arid Gulf region, where the challenges of sustainable development are starkly evident. The Gulf relies on non-renewable oil and gas exports to supply the world’s insatiable CO2 emitting energy demands, and has built unsustainable conurbations with water supplies dependent on energy hungry desalination plants and deep aquifers pumped beyond natural replenishment rates. Sustainable Development has an interdisciplinary focus, bringing together university faculty and government personnel from the Gulf, Europe, and North America -- including social and natural scientists, environmentalists and economists, architects and planners -- to discuss topics such as sustainable natural resource use and urbanization, industrial and technological development, economy and politics, history and geography.
Unsilencing the Past
Track-Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation
The Turkish-Armenian conflict has lasted for nearly a century and still continues in attenuated forms to poison the relationship between these two peoples. The author, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations and previously advisor to the United Nations, undertook, as head of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee, to bring the two sides together and to work with them towards a peaceful resolution of the enmity that had made any contact between them taboo.
His lively account of the difficult negotiations makes fascinating reading; it shows that the newly developed “track-two diplomacy” is an effective tool for reconciling even intractable foes through fostering dialog, contact and cooperation.
Subject: Peace & Conflict Studies
Urban Violence in the Middle East
Changing Cityscapes in the Transition from Empire to Nation State
Freitag, U., Fuccaro, N., Ghrawi, C., & Lafi, N., (eds)
Covering a period from the late eighteenth century to today, this volume explores the phenomenon of urban violence in order to unveil general developments and historical specificities in a variety of Middle Eastern contexts. By situating incidents in particular processes and conflicts, the case studies seek to counter notions of a violent Middle East in order to foster a new understanding of violence beyond that of a meaningless and destructive social and political act. Contributions explore processes sparked by the transition from empires — Ottoman and Qajar, but also European — to the formation of nation states, and the resulting changes in cityscapes throughout the region.
Subjects: Urban Studies General History
Villages in the Steppe
Late Neolithic Settlement and Subsistence in the Balikh Valley, Northern Syria
Akkermans, P. M.
In this book, Akkermans provides a systematic overview of the Halaf culture in the Syrian portion of the valley of the Balikh River, a tributary of the Euphrates. Following a broad exposition of the geography of the region, excavation results, definition of chronological periods within the Halaf, and patterns of site distributions, interpretive questions are explored. These include site types and the problems of determining site hierarchies, the nature of Halaf subsistence, and the role of exchange in the Halaf culture.
Vision and Change in Institutional Entrepreneurship
The Transformation from Science to Commercialization
Drori, I. & Landau, D.
Sheltered for a long time within the public sector environment with high job security and professional research autonomy, defense R&D organizations faced unprecedented challenges when government support was being withdrawn and closure threatening. They needed to be led by a suitable vision in order to implement comprehensive changes to their operations and remain viable. This study explores this constitution of vision as a mechanism of intentional change, a strategic tool to reach the desired future for the organization. Going beyond the current literature, the authors ask to what extent, and how, organizational members reconstruct vision in a way that it can support or detain change, a question of importance for management scholars as well as professional managers in both public and private organizations.
Subject: Applied Anthropology
Women and the City, Women in the City
A Gendered Perspective on Ottoman Urban History
Maksudyan, N. (ed)
An attempt to reveal, recover and reconsider the roles, positions, and actions of Ottoman women, this volume reconsiders the negotiations, alliances, and agency of women in asserting themselves in the public domain in late- and post-Ottoman cities. Drawing on diverse theoretical backgrounds and a variety of source materials, from court records to memoirs to interviews, the contributors to the volume reconstruct the lives of these women within the urban sphere. With a fairly wide geographical span, from Aleppo to Sofia, from Jeddah to Istanbul, the chapters offer a wide panorama of the Ottoman urban geography, with a specific concern for gender roles.
Subjects: Gender Studies Urban Studies General History
Women and the Politics of Military Confrontation
Palestinian and Israeli Gendered Narratives of Dislocation
Abdo, N. & Lentin, R. (eds)
As the crisis in Israel does not show any signs of abating, this remarkable collection, edited by an Israeli and a Palestinian scholar and with contributions by Palestinian and Israeli women, offers a vivid and harrowing picture of the conflict and of its impact on daily life, especially as it affects women's experiences that differ significantly from those of men.
The (auto)biographical narratives in this volume focus on some of the most disturbing effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: a sense of dislocation that goes well beyond the geographical meaning of the word; it involves social, cultural, national and gender dislocation, including alienation from one's own home, family, community, and society. The accounts become even more poignant if seen against the backdrop of the roots of the conflict, the real or imaginary construct of a state to save and shelter particularly European Jews from the horrors of Nazism in parallel to the other side of the coin: Israel as a settler-colonial state responsible for the displacement of the Palestinian nation.