From Multifaceted Resistance to Multidimensional Identities

Ultra-Orthodox Women Working toward Bachelor's Degrees at a Secular Teacher Training College

in Israel Studies Review
Author:
Sigal Oppenhaim-ShacharBar-Ilan University, Israel sigal.oppenhaim-shachar@biu.ac.il, sigaloss@gmail.com

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Michal HisherikBeit Berl College, Israel mhisherik@hotmail.com

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Abstract

This article is the product of a study, conducted over one academic year, that followed ultra-Orthodox women students working toward Bachelor's degrees at a secular teacher training college with the goal of getting accredited to work at Education Ministry-supervised schools and thereby improving their employment prospects. It finds that a process that began as technical and instrumental emerged as one that, under certain conditions, could affect all of a student's various identities. During the learning process, students faced contradictions between the realities conveyed to them in an unfamiliar academic language and their experiences in the ultra-Orthodox world. The clash produced a multifaceted resistance that testified to the degree of access the women had to power, support, and resources, and that in certain instances helped to forge multifaceted identities.

Contributor Notes

SIGAL OPPENHAIM-SCHACHAR is a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in the Gender Studies Program, the Sociology Department, and the School of Education. She also teaches in the School of Education and Faculty of Business Administration at Ono Academic College. Her areas of research include the relationship between gender, education, and sociology, and her work is devoted to teaching, supervising, promoting leadership efficacy, and creating opportunities for active involvement in the learning process. E-mail: sigal.oppenhaim-shachar@biu.ac.il; sigaloss@gmail.com.

MICHAL HISHERIK is a lecturer in sociology and gender studies in the Department of Education at Beit Berl College, Israel. Her PhD dissertation for the Gender Studies Program at Bar-Ilan University deals with violence toward women in the Ethiopian community in Israel. Her areas of specialization are the sociology of the family, violence against women, intervention programs, and public policy to prevent violence among women. E-mail: mhisherik@hotmail.com

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