This study explores the notion of dissent, seen as a form of ‘limited nonconformity’, via a study of some of the discourses produced by the Israeli veterans’ organization Breaking the Silence (BTS), which elicits and circulates soldiers’ testimonies about their experiences of military service in the occupied Palestinian territories. BTS has been criticized widely for its undisguised oppositional stance against the Israeli occupation, regime responding by directing some of its efforts to airing videotaped soldier-witnesses’ personal accounts and formulating organizational rebuttals with an eye to gaining public legitimization for its testimonial project. In these accounts and rebuttals, BTS activists explain their motivations for their oppositional move and respond to accusations that have been leveled against them by politicians and mainstream media. This study addresses BTS members’ personal accounts as well as their organizationally anchored rebuttals. Both are considered locally situated discursive practices of self-legitimation, whose analysis brings out a tension inherent in the notion of dissent between nonconformity and its limits. In so doing, it addresses ways in which these soldier-witnesses discuss their sense of self, their moral dilemmas, their social commitments, and the speech ideology that informs their testimonial activities.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- cultural identity
- identity construction
- speech ideology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Linguistics and Language