My dissertation explores the relationship between personal ties and the political in the context of the Israeli military occupation and settler colonization of the West Bank. Based on a fieldwork conducted from 2011 to 2014 in a Palestinian village under complete Israeli control, my methodological choice focused on an ethnography of Palestinians’ everyday life in order to grasp the moral and affective dimensions in which social relationships are embedded. The research questions how a moral economy of friendship, regulating personal relationships between distinguished populations, emerged from the Palestinians’ work experience in a colonial context. In the first chapter I introduce the context of my fieldwork focusing on the social identity of fellāḥīn (peasants) through which Palestinians in the village represent themselves. Peasants’ narratives and memories are linked to Palestinians’ violent dispossession due to the creation of the Israeli State, but also reveal present fractures in the Palestinian society. In the context of the progressive expansion of the Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, agriculture has become a political practice claiming the Palestinian ownership over the land. I analyze such a politization through the different ways Palestinian agriculture has been appropriated by both Palestinian and Israeli activists in the public arena, showing the conjuncture and disjuncture of emerging political subjectivities. Given the structural dismantlement of Palestinian peasants’ life, the second chapter focuses on Palestinian labor in Israel as an apparatus of the Israeli colonial governamentality. In the context of the Palestinians’ growing economical dependence on Israel since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, a special attention is dedicated to Palestinian laborers’ experience. I examine labor through three dimensions: work values in the Palestinian domestic economy, where norms regulating masculinity are explored in details; labor as an apparatus through which Israel controls the Palestinian population reproducing relations of personal dependence among Palestinian men and between Palestinians and Israelis, taking into account the institutional context inaugurated by the Oslo Agreements; Palestinians’ moral subjectivation through work, highlighting its contingent character in structurally uncertain political conditions. In the third chapter I go deeper into questioning personal relationships and their relation to the political. The social language of “friendship” is examined through the articulation of language with social practices in everyday life. Different ethnographical cases concerning personal ties between Palestinians and Israelis are presented, showing how “friendship” can be differently thought and mobilized in relation to moral and political values. Ultimately, such personal relations are framed by the perceived fragility of social relationships in the Palestinian society today. On the basis of Palestinians’ moral and political distinctions, in the fourth chapter I question “life” as the core of the political in Palestinian daily experience. In the tension between social death and the quest for a “respectable life”, the normalization of Palestinians’ death produced by the Israeli security regime engenders a “politics of life” which redefines life beyond physical survival.

(2016). At the borders of friendship: work, morality and survival in a colonial Israeli-Palestinian space. (Tesi di dottorato, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, 2016).

At the borders of friendship: work, morality and survival in a colonial Israeli-Palestinian space

PILOTTO, CHIARA
2016

Abstract

My dissertation explores the relationship between personal ties and the political in the context of the Israeli military occupation and settler colonization of the West Bank. Based on a fieldwork conducted from 2011 to 2014 in a Palestinian village under complete Israeli control, my methodological choice focused on an ethnography of Palestinians’ everyday life in order to grasp the moral and affective dimensions in which social relationships are embedded. The research questions how a moral economy of friendship, regulating personal relationships between distinguished populations, emerged from the Palestinians’ work experience in a colonial context. In the first chapter I introduce the context of my fieldwork focusing on the social identity of fellāḥīn (peasants) through which Palestinians in the village represent themselves. Peasants’ narratives and memories are linked to Palestinians’ violent dispossession due to the creation of the Israeli State, but also reveal present fractures in the Palestinian society. In the context of the progressive expansion of the Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, agriculture has become a political practice claiming the Palestinian ownership over the land. I analyze such a politization through the different ways Palestinian agriculture has been appropriated by both Palestinian and Israeli activists in the public arena, showing the conjuncture and disjuncture of emerging political subjectivities. Given the structural dismantlement of Palestinian peasants’ life, the second chapter focuses on Palestinian labor in Israel as an apparatus of the Israeli colonial governamentality. In the context of the Palestinians’ growing economical dependence on Israel since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, a special attention is dedicated to Palestinian laborers’ experience. I examine labor through three dimensions: work values in the Palestinian domestic economy, where norms regulating masculinity are explored in details; labor as an apparatus through which Israel controls the Palestinian population reproducing relations of personal dependence among Palestinian men and between Palestinians and Israelis, taking into account the institutional context inaugurated by the Oslo Agreements; Palestinians’ moral subjectivation through work, highlighting its contingent character in structurally uncertain political conditions. In the third chapter I go deeper into questioning personal relationships and their relation to the political. The social language of “friendship” is examined through the articulation of language with social practices in everyday life. Different ethnographical cases concerning personal ties between Palestinians and Israelis are presented, showing how “friendship” can be differently thought and mobilized in relation to moral and political values. Ultimately, such personal relations are framed by the perceived fragility of social relationships in the Palestinian society today. On the basis of Palestinians’ moral and political distinctions, in the fourth chapter I question “life” as the core of the political in Palestinian daily experience. In the tension between social death and the quest for a “respectable life”, the normalization of Palestinians’ death produced by the Israeli security regime engenders a “politics of life” which redefines life beyond physical survival.
VAN AKEN, MAURO IVO
colonialism, subjectivation, work, friendship, life
M-DEA/01 - DISCIPLINE DEMOETNOANTROPOLOGICHE
English
Scuola di Dottorato in Scienze Umane
ANTROPOLOGIA DELLA CONTEMPORANEITA': ETNOGRAFIA DELLE DIVERSITA' E DELLE CONVERGENZE CULTURALI - 40R
26
2013/2014
(2016). At the borders of friendship: work, morality and survival in a colonial Israeli-Palestinian space. (Tesi di dottorato, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, 2016).
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
phd_unimib_745028.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: tesi di dottorato
Tipologia di allegato: Doctoral thesis
Dimensione 4.14 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
4.14 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/104962
Citazioni
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
Social impact