Fran Markowitz, Stephen Sharot, and Moshe Shokeid (eds): Toward an Anthropology of Nation Building and Unbuilding in Israel
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This book, which inaugurates the ASSJ book series, “Studies of Jews in Societies,” is a fitting tribute to Alex Weingrod in honor of his eightieth birthday. Weingrod is a pioneer of Israeli anthropology and this volume reflects the influence of his scholarship on the twenty-one scholar contributors, many of whom were former students and colleagues. Space limitations preclude discussion of all contributions.
In their Introduction the editors frame the key issues of sociocultural inclusion and exclusion in terms of three problematics: (1) integrating Jewish immigrants from diverse backgrounds; (2) including and excluding growing resident Arab populations as citizens; (3) distributing power and controlling the frequent conflicts between Jewish religious and secular groups (xi). Their main thesis is that the shaping of Israelis into a well-defined “imagined community” contained the seeds of nation unbuilding, i.e., the unraveling of the webs of social cohesion and of shared political...
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