The biopolitics of declassing Palestinian professional women in a settler-colonial context

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Abstract

This article argues that the biopolitics of declassing Palestinian professional women in Israel, which constitutes part of the logic of eliminating the native, is mediated by colonial violence that secures labor market class sovereignty for settlers. In this context, the term declassing refers to rendering this class invisible by disregarding the women’s presence and/or value in the labor market. The study unpacks the logic of elimination through the racialized, everyday lived experience of middle-class professional women in Bedouin society who succeeded in entering the Jewish workplace. These women face sophisticated erasure tactics, paralleling various manifestations of the direct politics of fear that discipline the body, will and mind, as well as indirect opposition reflected in the settler-colonial reinforcement of patriarchal power against women. This article reveals concealed violent forms of power practiced by the colonialists to declass Palestinian women and preserve colonialist class superiority in the labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Sociology
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Biopolitics
  • declassing
  • middle-class women
  • settler colonialism

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