The Paradox of Professional Marginality among Arab-Bedouin Women

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Abstract

This study examines the mechanisms that create a paradox of marginality among middle-class Arab-Bedouin professional women in Israel by applying an intersectional analysis of their everyday professional life. It shows that the paradox of their marginality – despite their possessing high educational capital in their society, comparable to that of highly educated professional Jewish (men and women) and Arab-Bedouin male colleagues – is reproduced through the differential validation of embodied cultural capital based on women’s cultural roles solely as a symbol of their professional inferiority. The study indicates that when their professional capital intersects with other power axes within the public sphere – for example, ethnicity/racism, gender, religious norms and tribalism – it is not accorded recognition or legitimacy by male Arab-Bedouin professionals or by Jewish professionals, colleagues and clients, thus giving rise to representational intersectionality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1084-1100
Number of pages17
JournalSociology
Volume51
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Arab-Bedouin women
  • marginality
  • minorities
  • professionals
  • work

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