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State power and the role of education in the constitution of natives’ subjectivities: the Druze in Israel

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Collective identities are largely conceived as the essence of human subjectivity, the basis of moral collectivities and the code by which people tend to relate to histories and current affairs. Michel Foucault, notwithstanding, argued that identities are the product of power relations. Through various techniques, such as the classification of populations to certain categories, the hierarchical ordering of these categories, the allocation of differential treatment to those who occupy the various categories and the association between belonging to particular categories and certain jobs and means of living, regimes establish group identities. This process of sorting out, we argue, is the beginning of a laborious endeavor whose final goal is to institutionalize the new identities in the consciousness of the wider public as natural. Education is thought to constitute an essential tool by which regimes inculcate the young generations with constructed identities. Despite that, hegemonic discourses are not stable; rather, they are constantly challenged by all sorts of groups who speak in the name of silenced histories or moral claims. In line with these insights, we aim in this article to trace the Israeli methods employed to constitute the Druze as a distinct ethnic category, which is different not only from the Muslims, a faith community to which they affiliated until 1961, but also from the Palestinian-Arab minority. Particularly, we aim to look at the role that the educational system has played in the constitution of Druze separate identity.
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Keywords: Druze education in Israel; Druze identity; Subjectivities; education and subjectivities; state power and education; state power and identity formation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Early Education, Gordon College of Education, Haifa, Israel 2: Department of Politics and Government, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel

Publication date: November 2, 2018

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