Getting More Out of It: Identity Positioning through the Name

  • Michal Rom
  • Orly Benjamin


Typical storytelling in advanced capitalist societies involves individualistic and active ways of narrating life’s events as choices, decisions, capacities, compromises, and personality. As identified by Beck and Beck-Gernsheim (2002), people are no longer willing to think of their lives as prescribed by alien forces outside their control. “Living one’s own life” (p. 25) means magnifying choice and responsibility as the only way of experiencing life as meaningful at a time of increased precariousness. Accordingly, many of the women we interviewed narrated the transition from families of origin into families of procreation as a celebration of their choice, or more specifically of their ability to produce their unique individuality through their choices. In this chapter, we portray four identities that these women reproduce through their naming practices: the ideal feminized women, the ideal wife, the ideal mother, and the ideal citizen. In many ways, this chapter discusses how women try to get more out of the naming dilemma, as they discover that it opens a range of opportunities for them in their dealings with various aspects of names and naming in their day- to-day lives. In a wider sociological perspective, we show how these four individual ideal types allow understanding the discursive order in interviewees’ world, and more specifically the power position of “political familism” and the subjugation of feminism in Israel.


Power Position Israeli Woman Ideal Femininity Birth Family Egalitarian Solution 
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Copyright information

© Michal Rom and Orly Benjamin 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michal Rom
  • Orly Benjamin

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