Israelis in Conflict

Hegemonies, Identities and Challenges

Edited by: Adriana Kemp, Uri Ram, Oren Yiftachel, David Newman

Issues of identity and citizenship have become increasingly complex. Traditional boundaries linking place of residence with a single national identity have broken down. Boundaries have become permeable, with greater movement of people, goods and ideas. Intra-state, local and regional identities have come to the fore in tandem with global identities which traverse state boundaries. The result is greater social and cultural diversity within states as notions of multiculturalism and national identity take on new meanings. Globalization and increased cultural heterogeneity have had a major impact on states whose identity has been defined in terms of a single, often socially constructed, allegiance to the state and a single hegemonic ideology. Nowhere are changing notions of identity more prevalent than in Israel, a country whose dominant (Western-Jewish) society has been subject to understanding their past and present in terms of a single ideology of state formation - Zionism. Recently this single form of identity has become fractured and weakened, as Israeli society has become increasingly heterogeneous while facing repeated Palestinian anti-colonial rebellions. This circumstance has increased awareness of the dilemma posed by a single notion of state identity for its marginalized groups. This book challenges some of the traditional analytical paradigms prevalent in Israeli social science for the past fifty years. Although the State continues to define itself in terms of a homogeneous political and cultural entity, as the voices and narratives of marginalized (especially Palestinian, Eastern-Jewish and women) groups come to the fore, agencies of state socialization are no longer able to impose an unchallenged state identity or hegemony. The deconstruction of a state-sponsored social identity, whose aim is social cohesion, is here investigated by critical scholars who develop an alternative understanding of this highly dynamic society.

333 pages

Publication Date: 7/1/2004
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781903900659

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