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Regendering space and reconstructing identity: Bedouin women's translocal mobility into Israeli-Jewish institutions of higher education

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This article offers a geographic perspective on the mutually constitutive relations between institutions of higher education and Bedouin women's gendered spaces, identities and roles. Situated beyond Bedouin women's permitted space and embedded in Israeli-Jewish space, institutions of higher education are sites of displacement that present Bedouin women students with new normative structures, social interactions and opportunities for academic learning. As such, they become a discursive arena for the articulation and reconstruction of their previously held conceptions and identities. Often the journey to institutions of higher education signifies for Bedouin women the first opportunity to venture out of their community. Traveling to the university as students, returning home as educated women and embarking on professional careers outside tribal neighborhoods and villages involves moving across and beyond different locales. Such translocal mobility necessitates constant negotiation between seemingly contradictory cultural constructs and the development of varied spatial bridging strategies. The article seeks to contribute to Bedouin gender studies by going beyond the functional role of higher education institutions as well as the gendered hierarchies of women's mobility, placing emphasis, instead, on the effects of socio-spatial contextuality that shapes Bedouin women's experiences.
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Keywords: (displacement); Bedouin women; desplazamiento; displacement; espacio generizado; gendered space; identidad; identity; movilidad translocal; mujeres beduinas; patriarcado; patriarchy; translocal mobility

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2013

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