Relations between Development Towns and Kibbutzim

Sderot and Sha’ar Hanegev

in Israel Studies Review
Author: Gigi Moti 1
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  • 1 Sapir College motigigi@zahav.net.il
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abstract

Until the 1970s, the few interactions between Sderot and the neighboring kibbutzim in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council revolved around the kibbutzim’s economic and political dominance. As political resistance to this control increased, kibbutz members became worried about the consequences of segregation and economic exploitation and wished to alter these problematic relations. Thus, the Sderot–Sha’ar HaNegev partnership program, which aimed to create a shift in the relational structure, was established. This article analyzes the power dynamics between Sderot residents and the kibbutzim during the program’s operation. The partnership, although expected to reduce segregation and change the power relations between the communities, did not bring about a transformation from paternalism to partnership, but rather evolved from dominance to hegemony. Although the hierarchical relations are still in place, the interaction between spatial, class, and identity elements has created new ways in which the relationship operates up to the present day.

Contributor Notes

moti gigi is Chair of the Department of Communications at Sapir College. His primary areas of interest are the sociology of center and periphery, ethnicity, development towns and kibbutzim, and the sociology of Israeli politics and mass media. E-mail: motigigi@zahav.net.il

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