Cooperation and Conflict in the Zone of Civil Society: Arab-Jewish Activism in Jaffa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Critical anthropological research on citizenship and civil society has produced a rich body of literature that emphasizes their complexity and manifold dimensions. Addressing the multiple intersections of ethnicity, gender, and other so-called “primordial” components, anthropologists and critical sociologists have pressed for reassessment of the classical notion of a neutral arena, which is allegedly dictated by purely individualistic interests (e.g., Shils 1992). In contrast to Eurocentric ideals, civil society is shown to thrive also where communal ties are central to the political process (Hann and Dunn 1996, Weller 1999, Comaroff and Comaroff 1999, Hearn 2011, Lewis 2002. For Middle Eastern cases see Norton 1996, Joseph 1996, White 1996, Rabo 1996, Gole 1997). Critical scholars (e.g. Singerman 1996, Mohanty 1999) have also questioned the assumption that civil society is necessarily a middleclass construct by showing the contribution of the lower classes, particularly the urban poor, to the operation of civil life and to the very construct of citizenship. A revised understanding of the relations between civil society and the state sees them as mutually informing arenas, rather than static entities locked in a top-down model of domination (Ben-Eliezer 1998). Last but not least, citizenship is increasingly seen as a process rather than a fixed attribute. Concomitantly, a notion of a continuum of positions replaces the stiff dichotomy of citizens and non-citizens (Sassen 2002).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMixed Towns, Trapped Communities
Subtitle of host publicationHistorical Narratives, Spatial Dynamics, Gender Relations and Cultural Encounters in Palestinian-Israeli Towns
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781317095323
ISBN (Print)9781315595672
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Daniel Monterescu and Dan Rabinowitz 2007.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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