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Middle East

The (Little) Militia Man: Memory and Militarized Masculinity in Lebanon

Citation:

Haugbolle, Sune. 2012. “The (Little) Militia Man: Memory and Militarized Masculinity in Lebanon.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 8 (1): 115–39.

Author: Sune Haugbolle

Abstract:

This article discusses how militiamen who fought in the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) have been represented in Lebanese cultural production and how these militiamen relate to public discourse on masculinity and culpability in the postwar period. Through an analysis of interviews with former militiamen from the Lebanese press, an autobiographical novel, and a play about the war, this paper examines the link between debates about memory and responsibility on one hand, and contentions over norms of masculine behavior on the other. The texts suggest that some Lebanese artists privilege a redemptive narrative, where former fighters are shown as regretful, even feminized, “little men” on par with other human victims of a senseless war. This narrative is meant to counter the widely held notion in Lebanon that militiamen bear a large part of the responsibility for the war. At the same time, this redemptive narrative seeks to sever the link between masculinity and sectarian cultures that, still today, celebrate violence committed during the civil war.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militias, Post-Conflict, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2012

Fluid Masculinities? Case Study of the Kingdom of Bahrain

Citation:

Karolak, Magdalena, Hala Guta, and Neva Helena Alexander. 2014. “Fluid Masculinities? Case Study of the Kingdom of Bahrain.” International and Cultural Psychology 4: 159–74.

Authors: Magdalena Karolak, Hala Guta, Neva Helena Alexander

Abstract:

The need to assess male social roles and gender identity in the modern social context prompted the emergence of a gender specialized psychology devoted to the study of men (Levant, R. F., & Pollack, W. S. (1995). A new psychology of men. New York: Basic, p. 1). Indeed, the breadth of the study of psychology of men focuses on the crisis of masculinity in the West. Social changes related to rising male unemployment, female emancipation and transformation of the labor market undermined the position of man as the breadwinner; and consequently led to a gradual dismantling of the patriarchal organization of society (MacInnes, J. (1998). The end of masculinity. Buckingham: Open University Press, p. 55). This research is a qualitative study based on in-depth interviews with a sample of nine Bahraini men aged 20–40 and aims at analyzing the subjective experience of masculinity based on the case study of the Kingdom of Bahrain. A literature overview of the subject is followed by data analysis. Its specific cultural context presents a hegemonic masculinity deeply rooted in the organization of society and supported by religion. Nonetheless, rapid modernization of the region has prompted social, economic and cultural changes. Their impact on the male psyche has not been studied yet. As a matter of fact, research on how masculinity is experienced in the Arabian Peninsula is virtually inexistent. Studies devoted to the subject of masculinity deal primarily with the transformation of female and male roles in society (Elamin & Omair. Personnel Review, 39(6), 747–766, 2010; Schlaffer, E., & Kropiunigg, U. (2011). Saudi youth: Unveiling the force for change. Gulf analysis paper). Even from this perspective, Bahrain has never been studied. Our research is thus a pioneer work since it focuses on the psychological aspects of the construction and experience of masculinity and it deals with the subject of Bahrain.

Keywords: normative ideal, hegemonic masculinity, masculine ideal, feminine trait, luxury brand

Topics: Economies, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Religion Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Bahrain

Year: 2014

Toward Human Security and Gender Justice: Reflections on Afghanistan and Iraq

Citation:

Moghadam, Valentine M. 2013. “Toward Human Security and Gender Justice: Reflections on Afghanistan and Iraq.” In Globalization, Social Movements, and Peacebuilding, edited by Jackie Smith and Ernesto Verdeja, 97–133. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Author: Valentine M. Moghadam

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Justice, Security, Human Security, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq

Year: 2013

Shame and Gender

Citation:

Kressel, Gideon M. 1992. “Shame and Gender.” Anthropological Quarterly 65 (1): 34-46.

Author: Gideon M. Kressel

Abstract:

Gender segregation among groups of Bedouin now living in Ramla, Israel, is examined and compared with the parallel phenomenon among the Bedouin of the Negev Highlands. Both groups leave to the mother the task of inculcating in girls the notions of claustration and propriety and, frequently, of supervising the mutilation of genitals. Why do mothers accept this role and thereby perpetuate the gender-related perceptions of shame (femininity) and honor (masculinity)? Several rationalizations are examined. My explanation relates to social structure and conventions of group dynamics. The link between shame and gender also supplies the metaphor for the superior status of big agnatic groups over small ones. The perpetuation of women’s inferiority is here read through the code of symbols underlying community politics.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 1992

Between Complicity and Subversion: Body Politics in Palestinian National Narrative

Citation:

Amireh, Amal. 2003. “Between Complicity and Subversion: Body Politics in Palestinian National Narrative.” The South Atlantic Quarterly 102 (4): 747-72.

Author: Amal Amireh

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Nationalism Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2003

The Privilege of Revolution: Gender, Class, Space, and Affect in Egypt

Citation:

Winegar, Jessica. 2012. “The Privilege of Revolution: Gender, Class, Space, and Affect in Egypt.” American Ethnologist 39 (1): 67–70.

Author: Jessica Winegar

Abstract:

In this commentary, I challenge assumptions about political transformation by contrasting women's experiences at home during the Egyptian revolution with the image of the iconic male revolutionary in Tahrir Square. I call attention to the way that revolution is experienced and undertaken in domestic spaces, through different forms of affect, in ways deeply inflected by gender and class.

Keywords: Egypt, revolution, gender, class, space, Affect, generation

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Class, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Households Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2012

Postcolonial Subjectivity: Masculinity, Shame, and Memory

Citation:

Treacher, Amal. 2007. “Postcolonial Subjectivity: Masculinity, Shame, and Memory.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 30 (2): 281–99.

Author: Amal Treacher

Abstract:

Egypt in 1952 was poised to overthrow the past and make a fresh and vigorous future. The revolutionary coup instigated and led by a group of Army Officers succeeded in overthrowing the monarchy and severely undermining British rule and influence. The hopes following this dramatic event were not borne out as the early successes did not lead to a more dynamic future. Instead, corruption continued, the economy declined, industry did not flourish, and an adequate welfare system was not put in place. There are various explanations for this state of affairs, and while these are valid and provide answers, they do not adequately address postcolonial subjectivity. Postcolonial masculine subjectivity is fraught, endures and has to be endured. This article will focus on shame and remembering/forgetting as states of mind, and silence as a response, in order to explore how a colonized past led to the wish for a different future while simultaneously inhibiting a different future to be made.

Keywords: Egypt, memory, postcolonial masculine subjectivity, shame, silence

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism Regions: Africa, MENA, North Africa, Asia, Middle East Countries: Egypt

Year: 2007

Dislocated Masculinity: Adolescence and the Palestinian Nation-in-exile

Citation:

Hart, Jason. 2008. “Dislocated Masculinity: Adolescence and the Palestinian Nation-in-exile.” Journal of Refugee Studies 21 (1): 64-81.

Author: Jason Hart

Abstract:

Taking as its starting-point emerging discussion about gender and nationalism, this article considers the masculinities constructed by and for adolescent males born into a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. I consider the relationship of these masculinities to the construction of the camp as a moral and socio-political space. Through the employment of ethnographic material, the article demonstrates the ways in which young males—through the performance of a particular, dominant vision of masculinity termed mukhayyamji—serve to reproduce the camp as authentic location of an exilic national community. The article also examines the implications for individual young men of this interplay between masculine performance and the reproduction of the camp as a moral and socio-political space. It explores the consequences both for those who fail or choose not to uphold the idealized, mukhayyamji adolescent masculinity and for those who evince the skills and qualities that this entails. It is argued that, while the former risk marginalization from the camp as a moral and socio-political community, the latter face marginalization from the economic life of wider Jordanian society and, with that, endanger the transition to social adulthood. Thus, a set of paradoxes emerges for young males that reflects the ambiguous position of the Palestinian refugees in Jordan at a specific moment in the history of Jordan and the Palestinian national struggle.

Keywords: masculinity, adolescence, refugees, Jordan, Palestinian

Topics: Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Nationalism Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan

Year: 2008

'The King of the Streets': Hip Hop and the Reclaiming of Masculinity in Jerusalem’s Shu’afat Refugee Camp

Citation:

Greenberg, Ela. 2009. “‘The King of the Streets:’ Hip Hop and the Reclaiming of Masculinity in Jerusalem’s Shu’afat Refugee Camp.” Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication 2 (2): 231-50.

Author: Ela Greenberg

Abstract:

This paper examines G-Town, a Palestinian hip hop crew from Shu‘afat Refugee Camp in Jerusalem. G-Town is part of a worldwide cultural phenomenon in which marginalized youths borrow and adapt African-American hip hop culture to their socio-political contexts. Their ability to convey authenticity as rap artists comes from living in a refugee camp, where they are exposed to drugs, violence, and limited opportunities. While G-Town uses rap music as a vehicle to express their opposition to the Israeli occupation, they also use rap music to reclaim their masculinity, especially as Palestinian masculinity has become increasingly emasculated by the practices of the occupation. With Tupac Shakur as their model, the members of G-Town have created for themselves a hyper form of masculinity as a way of coping with the occupation. Rapping has enabled G-Town to emerge as self-appointed leaders of local camp youth, and through their music, they encourage their mainly male audiences to resist the Israeli occupation, while they criticize those who remain passive and whose masculinity thus becomes questionable. Not all their peers, however, are supportive of rap music, and criticize G-Town for having given up practices traditionally associated with the camp’s notion of masculinity.

Keywords: Jerusalem, Shu'afat Refugee Camp, hip hop, rap, music, youth, masculinity, G-Town, palestine

Topics: Occupation, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Refugee/IDP Camps, Gender, Boys, Masculinity/ies, Violence Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Israel

Year: 2009

Palestinian Prison Ontologies

Citation:

Bornstein, Avram. 2010.“Palestinian Prison Ontologies.” Dialectical Anthropology 34 (4): 459-72.

Author: Avram Bornstein

Abstract:

During the first intifada uprising (1987–1993), thousands of Palestinians were arrested annually, and mass incarceration affected as many as 100,000 families. Relying on several recent ethnographies, and other published research including some of my own, this article describes the contests over Palestinian prison ontology as organized by (a) the jailers, (b) the prisoners, (c) the families of prisoners, and (d) a service agency in the emerging Palestinian Authority. What becomes evident is that mass incarceration involves ontological struggles over the framing of justice, agency, and gender. The conclusion asks how these ontological struggles may be part of other modern prisons.

Keywords: political prisoners, Israel-Palestine, justice, gender, agency

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Occupation, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Justice, Nationalism Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 2010

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