Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence


Peteet, Julie. 1994. “Male Gender and Rituals of Resistance in the Palestinian Intifada: A Cultural Politics of Violence.” American Ethnologist 21 (1): 31–49.

Author: Julie Peteet


This article examines ritualized inscriptions of bodily violence upon Palestinian male youths in the occupied territories. It argues that beatings and detention are construed as rites of passage into manhood. Bodily violence is crucial in the construction of a moral self among its recipients, who are enabled to juxtapose their own cultural categories of manhood and morality to those of a foreign power. Ritual as a transformative experience foregrounds a political agency designed to reverse relations of domination between occupied and occupier. Simultaneously, it both reaffirms and transforms internal Palestinian forms of domination.

Keywords: middle east, masculinity, ritual performance, violence, body, construction of self

Topics: Age, Youth, Armed Conflict, Occupation, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Violence Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Palestine / Occupied Palestinian Territories

Year: 1994

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