Lonely in your firm grip: Women in Israeli-Palestinian families

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Recent feminist literature on Arab women has emphasized their agency and strategizing capabilities. In particular, researchers have highlighted women's skilled utilization of their blood rights for protection and lifelong support within the patriarchal group. I take issue with this generalization, using ethnographic material on Palestinians inside Israel. I argue that women's entitlement to protection is more limited than is usually assumed. An analysis of the code of familial commitment, particularly the interplay between gender and power, reveals that in order to obtain their family's commitment, Israeli-Palestinian women need to maintain a delicate balance between power and weakness. For a variety of reasons, women often fail to achieve such balance and hence suffer isolation and loneliness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-739
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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