Category Archives: Articles

The shape of theatre in the city: A theoretical and methodological approach for analyzing artistic activity in urban space

The shape of theatre in the city: A theoretical and methodological approach for analyzing artistic activity in urban space (2020)

Authors: Sharon Yavo-Ayalon, Tal Alon-Mozes & Meirav Aharon-Gutman

Abstract: This article explores the spatial and social relationship between theatre and the city through the case study of Acre, a mixed peripheral city in Israel. Despite the numerous studies dealing with artistic activity in the city, we still lack a clear, systematic method for understanding art’s role in urban space. This study attempts to overcome this lacuna by suggesting an analytical method for understanding the socio-spatial relations between theatre and the urban space in which it is practiced. The method is based on a juxtaposition of the city’s physical and social structure with the artistic activity of five theatre institutions, and uses super-positioning to combine two research methods: urban research and ethnographic fieldwork. By mapping the artistic activity, it gives shape to an abstract social phenomenon, therefore enabling its spatial analysis. The findings were analyzed according to four spatial categories: enclosure, centrality, axiality, and permeability. In the case study we explored, the artistic activity shape was limited by the city’s physical and social structure and had little effect on its immediate urban surroundings. We nonetheless emphasize the applicability of this methodology to other cities and other fields of art that could produce different shapes and lead to different outcomesץ

City for itself: a peripheral mixed city’s struggle for cultural capital

City for itself: a peripheral mixed city’s struggle for cultural capital (2019)

Authors: Sharon Yavo‐Ayalon, Meirav Aharon‐Gutman, Tal Alon‐Mozes

Abstract: Based on the case study of a Fringe theatre festival in a peripheral city in Israel, this article identifies and analyzes a moment of change in power relations between a peripheral city and the country’s central city. It offers an alternative perspective to urban discourse, which analyzes art projects in peripheral cities as duplicating colonial relations. We adapted the Marxist concept of a class in itself and a class for itself, from the socioeconomic realm to the urban realm, by using Bourdieu’s field theory as a link between the sociology of art and the urban realm. We argue that by taking control over the festival’s productive forces, the city evolved from a city in itself to a city for itself. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and architectural research, the article analyzes four decades of urban dynamics leading to this change and proposes a theoretical and methodological framework for deciphering contemporary urban process.

This work was supported by the Israeli President’s Grant for Scientific Excellence and Innovation and the Pais Council for Art and Culture.

Border disorder: On urban boundary work and crime in the divided city (2019)

Border disorder: On urban boundary work and crime in the divided city (2019)

Authors: Meirav Aharon Gutman

Abstract: This article offers exploration of one spatial aspect of crime in the divided city: the disproportionate concentration of crime events along Jerusalem’s former socio-historical border (known as ‘Green Line’) that is clearly reflected in a spatial analysis of crime. Offering insight into this phenomenon, an ethnographic investigation reveals the manner in which neighborhood residents cope with crime by blocking entry to it from the east, thereby reinforcing and reproducing already existing urban divisions. This second, qualitative layer of research enables us to follow urban boundary work in action, which is important, as focusing on boundary work (as opposed to borders) offers insight not only into divided cities as fact but into the mechanisms, logic and culture that reproduce and reshape their urban divisions. In contrast to hegemonic analyses that highlight the importance of macro-politics in shaping the lines that divide the divided city, this article considers crime, and the way residents struggle against it from below, as a central mechanism that reinforces and reproduces the divisions of the divided city.

“אתה רוצה למקסם את הרווח הכלכלי שלך. מה עם שלי?” ניתוח תמ”א 38 כעסקה תכנונית

“אתה רוצה למקסם את הרווח הכלכלי שלך. מה עם שלי?” ניתוח תמ”א 38 כעסקה תכנונית (2018)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman, Noa Prawer

תקציר: תמ”א 38 התכנית הארצית למיגון מפני רעידות אדמה הוטענה בעוצמות: בהציעה אחוזי בנייה באיזורי ביקוש וביצירת קואליציה בין המדינה, השוק הפרטי ובעלי הבתים. למרות זאת עד היום אושרו לחיזוק רק כ 4%- ממלאי הבניינים הפוטנציאלי. השפעתה של האינטראקציה החברתית על הסיכוי להוציא את התכנית לפועל – כמעט שלא נבחנה. באמצעות מחקר הנשען על אתנוגרפיה של אספות בעלי הבתים וניתוח פיזי-חברתי של שלושה מיזמים בעיר תל אביב-יפו – ביקשנו להתחקות אחר האינטראקציה החברתית המאפשרת או מכשילה את מימוש התכנית.

Sacred Rhythms and Political Frequencies: Reading Lefebvre in an Urban House of Prayer (2018)

Sacred Rhythms and Political Frequencies: Reading Lefebvre in an Urban House of Prayer (2018)

Authors: Moriel Ram, Meirav Aharon Gutman

Abstract: In recent years, Lefebvre’s concept of rhythm analysis has been implied in various ways to critically examine how rhythms are formed, disrupted, and reformed through different urban venues. One theme that this body of knowledge has yet to comprehensively examine, however, is how changes in the urban sphere impact the spatial rhythms of religious institutions in cities, which can be pivotal for understanding how religious institutions are formed as urban public spaces. This article addresses this issue with a rhythm analysis of a particular religious urban locus: a synagogue in the mixed Palestinian and Jewish city of Acre in northern Israel. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and an urban survey, the article discusses how different forms of rhythm‐making undergo a process of contested synchronization with linear and cyclical rhythms of the city. More specifically, how the ability to forge a space hinges on the ability to maintain a rhythmic cycle of attendance, which, in turn, is not only dependent on the ability to achieve synchronization amongst the needs of the different participants but is also intertwined with the larger linear cycle of urban life as a rhythmic equation that fuses the personal with the political, the linear with the cyclical, and the religious with the urban.

Social topography: Studying spatial inequality using a 3D regional model

Social topography: Studying spatial inequality using a 3D regional model (2018)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman, Mordechai Schaap, Idan Lederman
Abstract: This study’s point of departure is the need to develop a new theoretical language and tool-box to contend with the rising inequality that continues to expand under the spatially intensive and high density conditions stemming from demographic growth and large migration movements. Its response to this challenge is a 3D regional model based on the immersive visualization theater (VizLab) maintained by the Technion’s Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning. Following the breakthrough in research on spatial inequality facilitated by VR technology, we propose “social topography” as a theory and a modelling method that stands to make a significant contribution to both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Social topography, we maintain, creates a new sociology: one of contour lines and spatially embedded hierarchies that exists under VR conditions and enables us to put on 3D glasses and go where the research community has not yet gone before.

Objective possibility as urban possibility: reading Max Weber in the city (2017)

Objective possibility as urban possibility: reading Max Weber in the city (2017)

Article

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman, Moriel Ram
Abstract:
By employing Max Weber’s concept of objective possibility, this paper offers a theoretical conceptualization of a methodological approach to studying roads not taken in diversified cities. The paper incorporates Weber’s insight from the viewpoint of socio-historical analysis into an analysis of urban environments. In search of ‘other’ possibilities of planning, the paper presents a case study of the informal synagogues set up in Israel by members of Judeo-Arab communities. In this case, the possibility that was not actualized is ‘intimate publicness’, which encompasses new forms of organizing the relationship between private and public spaces.

Art’s failure to generate urban renewal: Lessons from Jerusalem (2017)

Art’s failure to generate urban renewal: Lessons from Jerusalem (2017)

Article

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract: Based on fieldwork conducted in a seam line neighbourhood in Jerusalem, this article contributes to the ongoing discourse on art in public spaces as a generator of urban renewal. The article suggests that re-thinking this convention from a Global South perspective would enable us to critically discuss the relation between art in public spaces and urban renewal. This research shows how site-specific intervention art activities had produced a conflict that consequently led to the expulsion of the artists group from the neighbourhood. Three theoretical concepts from Hannah Arendt’s work were used in the analysis of the results: political/social, action and public realm. This article claims that the artists’ group has aspired to be simultaneously ‘social’ and ‘political’: by means of a political act they wished to create a ‘dialogue’ and a ‘meeting point’ with Palestinians residing in East Musrara. Every attempt to be simultaneously political and social was perceived by the neighbourhood representatives as deceitful and threatening.

Can art breach boundaries? Segregation and hierarchy at a fringe theatre festival in the Israeli mixed city of acre

Can art breach boundaries? Segregation and hierarchy at a fringe theatre festival in the Israeli mixed city of acre (2016)

Authors: Sharon Yavo Ayalon, Meirav Aharon-Gutman and Tal Alon Mozes
Abstract: This study explores the relationship between art and urban boundaries using the case study of a fringe theatre festival in the Israeli mixed-city of Acre. While mixed cities today are understood as agglomerations of enclaves, maintained and reinforced by boundaries, urban designers and artists have used art as a cultureled regeneration strategy through which these boundaries may be breached. This study undermines the shared assumption of both fields: that art has the power to breach boundaries, by juxtaposing a city’s artistic activity with its segregation patterns and boundaries. Using super-positioning, the findings of two research methods have been integrated: urban research and ethnographic field work. The article shows that although the artistic activity in question is rooted in an avant-garde radical desire to subvert socioeconomic structures, it actually produces new versions and interpretations of the same segregations and boundaries in both space and society.

No place for politics in our neighborhood (2016)

No place for politics in our neighborhood (2016)

מאמר

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman

תקציר: מאמר זה מתעד ומנהיר את המפגש בין קבוצת אמנים המכונה “מוסללה”, אשר פעלה במרחב הציבורי של שכונת מוסררה בירושלים בשנים 2009-2015 ,לבין המינהל הקהילתי של השכונה. היה זה מפגש בין מטרות הקבוצה ופעולותיה לבין הפרשנות שהעניקו להן אנשי המינהל הקהילתי, אבל גם ההפך: מפגש בין פעולות המינהל הקהילתי לבין הפרשנות שהעניקה להן קבוצת האמנים. תחילתו של המפגש בשיתוף פעולה; אחריתו בחילוקי דעות קשים אשר הובילו למאבק של המינהל הקהילתי בקבוצת האמנים עד להפסקת פעילותם והוצאתם מהשכונה.

Strongholding the Synagogue to Stronghold the City: Urban‐Religious Configurations in an Israeli Mixed‐City

Strongholding the Synagogue to Stronghold the City: Urban‐Religious Configurations in an Israeli Mixed‐City (2016)

Authors: Moriel Ram, Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract:  This article explores the geopolitical significance of public religious institutions and the ways in which it has corresponded to changes in their urban environment. Based on a spatial analysis and ethnography of urban synagogues in the northern Israeli mixed city of Acre that were established and constructed by communities of Jewish immigrants from North African countries, we demonstrate how significant shifts in the city’s demographic pattern and landscape have affected these institutions’ ascribed functions and meanings. We theorise this dynamic as ‘strongholding’, or, more specifically, strongholding the synagogue as a means of strongholding the city. The formation of the synagogue as a stronghold is enacted through a dual configuration process by which the religious legitimacy, which the synagogue bestows on those who maintain it, is interwoven into a broader urban sociopolitical struggle to claim a presence in the city.

Labor agencies and the temporality of struggles: A comparative study in the Israeli periphery (2016)

Labor agencies and the temporality of struggles: A comparative study in the Israeli periphery (2016)

Article

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract:
In November 2011, workers of Peri HaGalil (PG) – a factory in the town of Hatzor – protested outside the Israeli Knesset against the owners’ plan to lay off fifty of them. The demonstration was part of a campaign to pressure Members of Knesset (MKs) to approve the transfer of a 12 million New Israeli Shekels (NIS) grant that would prevent its closure. Inside the hall, the Chairman of the Workers’ Board pleaded with MKs to prove their solidarity with workers by voting in favor. Speaking passionately, Mr. Haziza asked, ‘What did we ask for? Give [us] the right to work’ (Committee on the Economy, 2012: 11). Later that week, having received financial assurances from the government, the owners reversed their plan and workers returned to work. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor (MOITAL) explained the decision, ‘It was clear to me that closing the plant would be a death blow to the town’ (Yefet and Avital, 2012).

Holy city: between workplace and work of the place

Holy city: between workplace and work of the place
(2015 Hebrew | Israeli Sociology 17(1) : 57-78)

Authors: Noga Shani, Meirav Aharon-Gutman

תקציר: ערי קודש מייצרות מרכזיות דתית ומהוות אבן שואבת מבחינה כלכלית, פוליטית וחברתית. עם הקמתה של מדינת ישראל חל שינוי במעמדן של ערי הקודש שבה והן הפכו לערים פריפריאליות. המושגים היחסיים “מרכז” ו”פריפריה” איבדו מכוחם והפכו למושגים אבסולוטיים, תלויי תרבות, המתארים מציאות עירונית ובה בעת משעתקים אותה. באמצעות מחקר אתנוגרפי עירוני שנערך בקרב חסידות ברסלב בצפת אנו מתעדות את מעמדן של ערי הקודש, שהן בה בעת מרכז רוחני ופריפריה מדינתית. את המורכבות הזאת ניתחנו באמצעות המושג “עבודת המקום”. עבודת המקום, כשהיא מתפרשת כעבודת האל, מחזקת את המקום כמרכז קדוש; בו בזמן היא מגבילה את יכולתם של הפרטים לעבוד בשוק העבודה, ובכך היא מנציחה את מעמדו של מקום כפריפריה מדינתית. באמצעות ניתוח זה אנו מערערות על ההגדרות המקובלות של מרכז ופריפריה ומשרטטות מפת קואורדינטות אחרת, המאפשרת להגדיר מחדש את המושגים מרכז ופריפריה ובכך להשיב להם את כוחם היחסי.

Citizenship at work in the Israeli periphery: the case of Peri Ha’Galil

Citizenship at work in the Israeli periphery: the case of Peri Ha’Galil
(2014 | Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, volume 32, pages 589–605)

Authors: Sharon Yavo Ayalon, Meirav Aharon-Gutman and Tal Alon Mozes
Abstract: In this paper we examine a struggle waged by production line workers at a formerly state-owned factory located in Israel’s northern periphery. Intially an attempt to prevent the closure of the privatized factory, it soon became an all-out struggle through which production line workers deployed their peripheral location and ethnoclass identities to make claims for and enact their citizenship (at work). Drawing on two years of ethnographic research, we argue that despite—or perhaps because of—years of persistent labor market reforms traditional industrial factories remain critical spaces for the constitution of citizenship in Israel. In contrast to the past, in which state-sponsored industrial employment created a perfect congruence between labor market participation and citizenship (‘I work therefore I am a citizen’), recent processes aimed at enhancing labor market flexibility have fundamentally altered these relations. Under constant threats of downsizing, precariatized industrial workers in privatized factories experience a restless citizenship, a ceaseless battle to secure their jobs through what might be called the work of citizenship.

Riding the Culture Train: Ethnography of a Plan for Social Mobility through Music

Riding the Culture Train: Ethnography of a Plan for Social Mobility through Music
(2013 | Cultural Sociology Volume 7 Issue 4 pp. 447-462)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract: This article examines the production of ‘high culture’ and how it shapes social mobility. I observe how the second generation of immigrants from North Africa have succeeded in rising up the Israeli social hierarchy by appropriating established modes of cultural expression. The founders of the Israel Andalusian Orchestra became aware that the road to full integration was closed to them by the politics of difference, that the way to total segregation from wider Israeli society was closed by economic and ontological dependence on the national state, and the option of multiculturalism condemned them to a permanently marginal status. They realized that they needed a new political approach and that cultural appropriation was the way by which they could reclaim their ethnic identity yet still establish themselves among the élite of Israel.

The iron cage of ethnicity: Ethnic urban enclaves and the challenge of urban design

The iron cage of ethnicity: Ethnic urban enclaves and the challenge of urban design
(2013 | Urban Design international advance online publication)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract: This article describes and analyzes the social construction of the urban space of an immigrant city, with a special focus on ethnic enclaves, by bringing together the languages of urban design and urban-social research. The case of Ashdod has brought me to question the existing theoretical toolbox of social research, with its discourse of segregation–integration and multicultural theory. Following the career of the ethnic category at the junction between city planning and urban history and the way people consume the city’s structure, it is argued that the purpose of the narratives spoken in the center of a modern Israeli city is to pave a way into the heart of the imagined community. Having failed in their efforts to belong as equals, Israel’s immigrants have adopted a strategy termed here ‘distinct participation’. Analyzing their conduct and actions, it is concluded that in order to belong to the national community, they must first become different, and that nothing says ‘different’ better than ethnicity. This is the iron cage of ethnicity: ethnicity is not only distinctive and compartmentalizing; it is also a laissez-passer. These insights shed new light on the ongoing research into ethnic enclaves in immigrant cities and challenge the role of urban designers that act and involve in cities of immigrants.

Just Like Democracy: Ethnography of Realpolitik in a City of Immigrants

Just Like Democracy: Ethnography of Realpolitik in a City of Immigrants
(2012 | Journal of Levantine Studies Vol. 2 no.1 pp.71-91)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract: Engin Isin, in his work “Citizenship after Orientalism: Ottoman Citizenship,” offers a new paradigm for citizenship studies. Understanding citizenship after Orientalism begins with an inquiry into the kind of political culture that has emerged at the meeting point between immigrants and “imperial elites,” and how this political culture reshaped both groups.1 Following Isin’s paradigm, the goal of this paper is to open a new space for understanding political culture in polycultural, liberal societies. This new space lies at the intersection of the official perception of democracy and citizenship with the mixture of political languages used by the common people (as opposed to that used by the elites). The main challenge in this paper is to offer an ethnography of realsociology: an ethnography that liberates itself from the Occidental interpretation of citizenship, on the one hand, and from the fundamental interpretations of religion and ethnicity on the other. The ethnography of realsociology can shed a new light on the notion of citizenship: citizenship not as it is envisaged in the political philosophy of a normative future, but citizenship in the concrete politics of everyday life.

The iron cage of ethnicity

The iron cage of ethnicity
(2010 | Israeli Sociology 12(1): 181-210)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman

תקציר: עיר הלאום המודרנית אשדוד רוויה במופעים תרבותיים–פוליטיים הנתפסים כאישור נוסף לתיאוריה הרב תרבותית. במאמר זה, הנשען על המסורת של סוציולוגיה ואנתרופולוגיה אורבנית, תחום דעת המבקש לקשור בין מבנים פיזיים למבנים תרבותיים, אטען שחרשי התרבות, מפיקי הזיכרון מקרב הקבוצות החברתיות באשדוד אינם מבקשים להיבדל וליצור חלופה לנרטיב המרכזי. שלא כצפוי, פעולות הזיכרון וההנצחה של קבוצות אלה הן דווקא אמצעי להשתייך לקהילת הלאום. עוליה–מהגריה של מדינת ישראל בפתחו של האלף השלישי, לאחר שכשלו ניסיונותיהם לתבוע ולקבל שייכות כשווים, אימצו אסטרטגיה שאותה אכנה ”השתתפות מובחנת“. מניתוח פעולותיהם עולה שכדי להשתייך לקהילת הלאום הם חייבים להיבדל תחילה, ואין פעולת היבדלות יעילה מזו האתנית. זהו כלוב הברזל של האתניות: האתניות אינה רק קטגוריה מבחינה ומדירה אלא כרטיס כניסה, אישור מעבר חברתי, מוסדי ופוליטי.

The day the sun rises in the west — ethnography of a peace process

The day the sun rises in the west — ethnography of a peace process
(2009 | International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society 22(1): 41-55)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman
Abstract: Both politicians and academic researchers have focused on the Oslo peace agreements, generally emphasizing the “New Middle East” and “Transnationalism.” Less attention has been paid to social and economic changes affected by the process of peacemaking. This paper examines the reality that was created from below and asks what the peace process meant to migrant Palestinian workers in Israel. Three years of ethnography challenge accepted theories of borders and borderland in the case of Israel and Palestine by asking what can be learned about the cultural identity of people from the ways they cross, understand, and move between geopolitical and cultural boundaries. In the last years of the Oslo Agreements, it became clear to the workers that “peace” meant preserving national borders: it involved a policy of separation, whereas their very livelihood depended on their ability to move between Tel Aviv and the Gaza Strip. Torn between their national identity and their class–cultural identity, they formulated a demand for a dialectical reorganization: a state without borders. This demand stood in opposition to the national aspirations of Israel and the Palestinian state-in-being alike.

It will be quiet enough when we’re dead – now is the time to live

It will be quiet enough when we’re dead – now is the time to live
(2009 | Between planning the modern city and living in it. Planning Theory and Practice 10(2): 213-231)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman

תקציר: ההפרדה בין תעשייה, מסחר ומגורים (zoning – (עמדה בלב התכנון העירוני המודרניסטי. ביקורת על תפיסה זו רווחת בקרב מתכנני ערים וארכיטקטים מזה עשרים שנה. עם זאת, ביקורת על הגיון תכנוני זה לא שינתה את המרחב העירוני הקיים וגם לא חלחלה אל התכנון העתידי של העיר. לטענתי, לא ניתן להבין את חווית המרחב הישראלי בלי להבין את הגיון התכנון בהפרדה ואת אסטרטגיות החיים של העולים – מהגרים החיים בתוכו. בהסתמך על שלוש שנות מחקר שדה בעיר אשדוד אשרטט את המרחב העירוני בטווח שבין מקרו – סדר (zoning (ובין המיקרו סדר (חיי היום יום של תושבי העיר). במאמר זה אביא שלוש דוגמאות אתנוגראפיות מן העבר ומן ההווה העירוני אשר מאירים את האופן בו צורכים אנשים את המבנה (במובנו הפיזי ובמובנו כמבנה חברתי – כאחד). על סמך דיווחים אלה אטען כי תושביה – מהגריה של העיר אינם קוראים תיגר על עצם החיים בעיר מתוכננת. הם ניכסו את השיכון, את הרבעים, את המבנה העירוני הפיזי ויצקו בו הגדרות משלהם ל”בית”, “משפחה”, “עבודה”, “צריכה” ו”ייצור”. התפקוד שלהם במרחב העירוני המתוכנן לא עיצב אותם מחדש כאנשים חדשים, כפי שראו המתכננים בעיני רוחם. אלא אופן צריכתם את המרחב העירוני המתוכנן יצר בו טרנספורמציות והציף על פני השטח הגדרות חדשות של סדר חברתי ואגב כך הטיל ספק באפקטיביות של הגדרות “הטוב המשותף” כפי שנוסחו על ידי אליטות פרופסיונאליות.

Triumph of the system: on De-mocratization in planned migrant city

Triumph of the system: on De-mocratization in planned migrant city
(2008 | Israeli Sociology 9(2): 413-441)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman

תקציר: בשנות המחקר, 2000-2004 ,עמד הליכוד בשיא כוחו, הן בזירה הארצית והן בשדה המחקר, אשדוד. דווקא אז הפך למושא ללעג ולביקורת ציבורית נוקבת. אשאל כיצד נוצר פער זה בין כוחו האלקטורלי של הליכוד לבין הונו הסימבולי? על סמך חקירה אתנוגרפית אטען כי ”ניצחון השיטה“ ־ אימוץ האזרחות ה”ראויה“ (citizenship appropriate (־ יצר תרבות פוליטית חדשה: אזרחות מנכסת )citizenship appropriating .)אזרחות זו נוצרת בשלושה שלבים: בשלב הראשון מאמצים האנשים את המודלים הראויים )פעילות במפלגה, בחירות(; בשלב השני נוצרת הפרדה בין צורה לתוכן והכלים הראויים נטענים בתוכן חדש מטעמים של דת, שפה והקשרים כלכליים וסוציו–היסטוריים; בשלב השלישי מתגבשת האזרחות המנכסת, ונוצרת שפה חדשה–ישנה ומופעים חדשים–ישנים של צבירת כוח )טופסי מתפקדים, מחנות ורשימות עצמאיות(. מודל זה מציע ביקורת על התרבות הפוליטית המודרנית ועל מה שהייתה עבור מהגריה של עיר הלאום המודרנית.

Border people: the story of Palestinian work migrant at the Age of Oslo (2004)

Border people: the story of Palestinian work migrant at the Age of Oslo
(2004 | Israeli Sociology 6(2): 119-149)

Authors: Meirav Aharon-Gutman

תקציר: תקציר. בעקבות מחקר אתנוגרפי בקרב מהגרי עבודה פלסטינים, תושבי הרשות הפלסטינית בישראל, אני טוענת לקיומה של מציאות דו–ערכית, שאינה באה לידי ביטוי בדיון הציבורי בשנים שלאחר החתימה על הסכם אוסלו, שנים שבמהלכן קנו להן אחיזה בתודעה הציבורית מטבעות לשון כמו “קץ הסכסוך”, “שלום” ו”הסדרי קבע”. המחקר שלפנינו חושף את מציאות חייהם של מהגרי העבודה הפלסטינים, מציאות שמצביעה על קיומו של “מזרח תיכון חדש” — “מזרח תיכון של מטה”. זהו מזרח תיכון שמיומם, כורך, מתיר ומסכסך בין משטרים שונים, וכך מאתגר את “ארגז הכלים” שמציע הדיון המקובל בכל הנוגע לזהות, לאומיות והגירת עבודה. המאמר משרטט את קוויה של תרבות גבול, תרבות שלישית, ומציג אותה כמסגרת פרשנית לתהליכים מקבילים וסותרים של הפרדה ומפגש.