Discourses of dissent: The role of speech and action in Israeli grassroots activism

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


The study of activism as a social field, which both articulates and valorizes localized notions of “activist action” and “activist identities”, provides a particularly rich opportunity for exploring the entanglements of language and action in the semiotic economy of contemporary cultural groups. The simultaneous valuation and de-valuation of language in activist discourse speaks to larger issues related to the cultural construction of language and action in modern Israeli culture and in the Western tradition from which Zionism has drawn some of its basic tenets. Israel’s hegemonic linguistic ideology, which has been termed ‘revivalism, ' considers modern Hebrew as a revival of Classical Hebrew whose various historical layers include Biblical Hebrew, Talmudic Hebrew and later rabbinical sources. Activist discourse marks an ambivalent juncture between these two non-commensurate linguistic ideologies that activists must navigate as they mount their struggle to bring about social and political change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscourses in Action
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000026054
ISBN (Print)9780367404208
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Klaus Krippendorff and Nour Halabi; individual chapters, the contributors.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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