How Does Participation in Resistance Interact with the Construction of Family Relations? West Bank Palestinians Between the First Intifada and the ‘Post-Oslo' Period

Friday, July 18, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Hendrik HINRICHSEN , Center of Methods in Social Sciences, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany
Arne WORM , Center of Methods in Social Sciences, University of Göttingen, Germany
A large share of the Palestinian population in Gaza and the West Bank was involved in the First
Intifada (1987-1993). As a mass movement against the Israeli occupation it was both, shaped by and
shaping the construction of family relations and gender roles. In academic literature on Palestine, it
has been widely discussed whether the involvement in civil and militant political activities against
the Israeli occupation has reduced the patriarchal influence of senior males in favor of a growing
influence of juveniles and women within the (extended) family resp. clan ('hamullah'). In large parts
research focused on the effects of female integration into ‘committee work’ and the increased
familial authority of young Palestinian males (Peteet 1994).
The period after the so-called Oslo peace process (roughly after 1995) and the various
transformations it entailed for Palestinian society, however, have caught much less attention in
research on the Palestinian family.
Based on biographical case reconstructions and participant observation we want to discuss if the
societal conditions in 'post-Oslo' Palestine have altered the interplay between participation in
resistance against the Israeli occupation and the construction of manhood and family relations.
Therefore we show the effects that the interplay of involvement in 'resistance activities' and family
relations yields for the biographical trajectories (Schütze 2006) of young Palestinian males.
Looking at the relations of family members from a biographical perspective allows us to reconstruct
the changing relevance of family relations in the course of a lifetime as well as the intertwining of
family relations with other biographical spheres of action.
Our paper is based on fieldwork in the West Bank which is part of our PhD-projects as well as a
larger Israeli-Palestinian-German research project funded by the German Research Foundation
(DFG) and supervised by Prof. Gabriele Rosenthal, University of Göttingen.