On Disturbing Categories

Joyce Dalsheim

in Unsettling Gaza

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199751204
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895014 | DOI:
On Disturbing Categories

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This chapter takes a reflexive look at the work of disturbing hegemonic cultural categories. It continues to challenge the tendency to essentialize those categorized as “fundamentalists,” to open up the category of “settler” in the space of Israel/Palestine, and to reflect on the complexity or potential danger of such challenges. There is no guarantee that the complexities of identity, beliefs, and practices that fall beyond hegemonic categories will be more appealing than what is left behind. This chapter focuses on a Women’s Sabbath (Shabbat Nashim) in the settlements of Gush Katif prior to the disengagement; it brought together religiously motivated settlers, as well as women expressing opposition to settlement in the occupied territories. This event provides an opportunity to reflect on what can be found beyond and beneath commonsense categories of difference, and it also carries a cautionary note. The work of moving beyond dominant ways of understanding the social world is always partial and always in progress, and we never know what we might find once we begin disturbing categories.

Keywords: hegemonic categories; fundamentalists; setters; Gush Katif; Israeli women; Shabbat

Chapter.  8373 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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