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Interfaith Families

A Christian Perspective

Ulrike Dross-Gehring

Abstract

This article is a very personal statement concerning parts of my own biography and my family life. But more than that, it is an encouragement to dare to find peaceful and creative ways of living together in an intercultural and interreligious context, within the privacy of a partnership and family as well as within a society and within this world. The private space always has a very broad and political aspect as well. That is what motivates me to share these very personal experiences.

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Trains of Thought

The Challenges of Mobility in the Work of Rhoda Broughton

Anna Despotopoulou

This article examines women's mobility in the work of Rhoda Broughton, looking closely at her use of the railway as a means of rendering not only the movement but also the drifting consciousness of her heroines. Combining privacy and publicity, movement and stasis, the railway in Broughton's work affects the subjectivity and everyday routine of women, becoming a literary means of exploring woman's complex response to the transitory nature of experience, the rapidly shifting states of consciousness, and modernity's fleeting images - all of which are reflected in Broughton's idiosyncratic style.

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Introduction

Why Revisit Intimacy?

Sertaç Sehlikoglu and Aslı Zengin

Intimacy is tightly bound up with notions of privacy, sexuality, proximity and secrecy, and with dynamics of sensual and affective attachments and forms of desire. It is therefore integral to the formation of human selves and subjectivities, as well as communities, publics, collectives and socialities. The articles in this Special Section all offer an anthropological inquiry into intimacy, seeking a conceptual formulation that might capture its actual operations, the ways intimacy is done in talk and action. They thus contribute ethnographically to ongoing anthropological debates about intimacy, and explore how multiple domains and forms of intimacies are defined, shaped, constructed and transformed across different social worlds.

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Privatization and Patriarchy

Prisons, Sanctions, and Education

Nili Cohen

Examining two Israeli cases, this article addresses the highly controversial question about the privatization of state authority. The first concerns the Supreme Court decision that prohibits private prisons, a ruling that reflects the deep-rooted assumption that criminal punishment is a matter of state authority. The second case refers to the Israeli religious organization Takana Forum, which seeks to handle sexual offenses committed by authoritative figures within its community. The relation between privatization, privacy, and multiculturalism is presented as potentially perpetuating patriarchal authority in family life, education, and punishment. Following this discussion, different models of privatization based on the nature of the respective privatized authority are presented. The article concludes with an analysis of the conflict between communal and state law and its potential effect on Israel's collective co-existence.

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Abraham Mansbach

This article discusses the form in which the “I-We“ relationship is configured in Israel, in terms of its intersection with democracy. It argues that what is usually considered as a sine qua non for a robust democracy, namely, an agonistic tension between the “I,“ that is our individual uniqueness, privacy, and personal liberty, and the “We,“ that is our collective liberty and autonomy, is absent from Israeli society. Moreover, when we examine the distribution, consumption, use, and negotiation of power in the sphere of everyday life in Israel, we find that “the military,“ its discourse, and its practices suffuse precisely those spaces where the social fabric as well as identities are being shaped. The conclusion is that the Israeli society is actually drifting away from democracy in an increasingly oppressive erasure of personal identity claims, as well as of their discourse and praxis.

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Intimate Publics, Public Intimacies

Natural Limits, Creation and the Culture of Mahremiyet in Turkey

Sertaç Sehlikoglu

This article offers an ethnographic account of the culture of mahremiyet [intimacy and privacy] in Turkey, not only as an institution of intimacy regulating everyday sexual relationships between individuals in public, but also as a system enabling the operation of social normalcies through the creation of boundaries and privileges. By probing the concepts of mahremiyet and fıtrat [creation or natural disposition], the article investigates how intimacy operates in religious, mundane and political registers, and delves into the intricate relationship between the intimate and the shared. It suggests that the culture of mahremiyet is deeply rooted in the ways individuals construct their sense of selves in relation to others, and imagine mahrem boundaries as natural, God-given, or fıtrî laws in their entanglement with gender. The use of the language of mahremiyet in contemporary politics not only enables what can seem to be a meta-cultural intelligibility that guarantees popular support, but also distances any critique as strange or foreign.

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Amir Har-Gil and Inbal Ben-Asher Gitler

Architecture and landscape constitute key aspects of fictional realistic drama in film and television. In fictional films whose plots take place on Israeli kibbutzim, on-site cinematography is a central means of achieving a realistic and dramatic portrayal of the communal settlement and its social space. In this article, we investigate five productions filmed on location at Kibbutz Yakum. We argue that these filmic representations of architecture and landscape reify the image of the kibbutz as an introverted society that denies individuals their privacy and upholds the centrality and presence of community. By comparing the actual sites with their presentation in films, we show that the physical space of the kibbutz was filmed selectively in a manner that immortalizes its communal, 'classical' image, which in reality no longer exists. The kibbutz's transformation from a communal to a privatized society is purposely veiled in these films, preserving the kibbutz's established image.

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Gadi Benezer

This article discusses the reactions of Israelis in the public space to 'mixed families' that include members of Ethiopian origin, written from the perspective of members of such families. The findings reveal that Israelis still react to the dark skin color of Ethiopians in mixed families and that, in most cases, 'black colors white', that is, behavior toward the mixed family is determined mainly by the presence of its black member. The three typical responses are as follows: (1) expressions of surprise at the presence of an Ethiopian in the family, evincing a stereotypical view of Ethiopian immigrants and their place in Israeli society; (2) invasions of privacy that are perceived by the family members as greatly exaggerated when compared with Israeli norms; and (3) declarations of appreciation for/admiration of the 'white' partner in the family for 'lifting up' the 'black' person through a (supposedly) altruistic act. The major conclusion is that Israeli society has yet to accept mixed families that include Jews of Ethiopian origin as a normative category.

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Living Under the Bell Jar

Surveillance and Resistance in Yevgeny Zamyatin's We

Michael D. Amey

Observation plays an increasingly significant role in twentieth-century society as a means of regulation. In this regulatory function, observation manifests itself in the ubiquitous CCTV, traffic cameras and other surveillance techniques used to monitor and record the activities of ordinary citizens. One of the more alarming recent manifestations of the potential for all-pervasive surveillance is the announcement of the development of an urban surveillance system by the United States military, which 'would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a foreign city,' and which could potentially be used by governments on their own citizens. The dramatic increase of surveillance in the twentieth-century has also been matched by an increase of voyeuristic entertainment, exemplified by the Orwellian titled television game show Big Brother. The entertainment value of voyeuristic surveillance has arguably rendered individuals more …accepting of regulatory surveillance in their personal lives. This trend towards increasing surveillance coupled with a citizenry inured to a constant invasion of its privacy has formed the basis for a number of twentieth-century dystopian novels and films, such as George Orwell's 1984 (1949), George Lucas's THX-1138 (1971), Stephen King's The Running Man (1982), Peter Weir's The Truman Show (1998), Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium (2002) and the Warchowski brothers' Matrix trilogy (1999-2003). The widely acknowledged forerunner of these works, however, was a novel, We, written in 1921 by the Russian author, Yevgeny Zamyatin.

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French Color Blindness in Perspective

The Controversy over "Statistiques Ethniques"

Daniel Sabbagh and Shanny Peer

In the United States, while some race-based policies such as affirmative action have faced often successful political and legal challenges over the last quartercentury, historically, the very principle of official racial classification has met with much less resistance. The Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, according to which “no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” was not originally intended to incorporate a general rule of “color blindness.” And when in California, in 2003, the “Racial Privacy Initiative” led to a referendum on a measure—Proposition 54—demanding that “the state shall not classify any individual by race, ethnicity, color or national origin,” this restriction was meant to apply exclusively to the operation of public education, public contracting or public employment, that is, the three sites where affirmative action was once in effect and might be reinstated at some point, or so the proponents of that initiative feared. In any case, that measure was roundly defeated at the polls.