Coping with 'forbidden love' and loveless marriage: Educated Bedouin women from the Negev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The issue of love and marriage is considered a taboo topic that has not yet been researched in the Bedouin community in Israel. This is especially true of the subjective experience of Bedouin women. This article describes the encounter of Bedouin women, who were the first in their tribes to study in higher education institutions, with the issue of love connections with men from 'forbidden tribes' and other difficult marital situations arising from their education and employment opportunities. I describe several types of marital situations created by this encounter: 'tragic heroines', 'matchless women' and 'women ahead of their times', the common theme being that all these women had to sacrifice their emotions for the sake of their independence. I describe their ways of struggling in terms of splitting mechanisms that shift between attachment and detachment of body-mind, reason-emotion and public-private spheres on two levels: behavior and consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-323
Number of pages27
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Bedouin women
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Educated women
  • Forbidden love
  • Marriage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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