National hatred, female subjectivity, and the boundaries of cultural discourse

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15 Scopus citations


In light of a study in Israel, which found that 28% of secular girls and 6.3% of religious girls expressed strong hatred toward Arabs (Gal and Maislees 1989), this paper explores the difference in emotional experience between the two groups of girls. Through in-depth interviews, it examines the meaning of national hatred as knowledge produced within a particular cultural discourse. In the case of the religious girls, feelings of hatred are produced through defensive emotion work aimed at securing the position of female religious subjectivity. The experience of the secular girls shows that when no single discourse is afforded privileged status, dissonant forms of knowledge stimulate the transformation of hatred into understanding and taking the role of the other. In both cases, the paper demonstrates the interplay between national discourse (secular and religious), emotional experience (of hatred), and the construction of (women's) subjectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-36
Number of pages16
JournalSymbolic Interaction
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (all)


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