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Palestinian American Women’s Marriages within and beyond Borders

Palestinian American Women’s Marriages within and beyond Borders This article explores American Palestinian women’s discursive strategies and identity politics by which they take control of their marital choices. Through the analysis of sixteen in-depth interviews with second-generation Palestinian women and personal observations within the community, the article shows that nationalist and religious discourses produced by the historical contexts respectively stimulated (semi)arranged in-group marriages in the 1990s and self-initiated exogamous marriages as of the early 2000s. Among the group, Islam has become the primary form of identification, and religious discourse has been circulating within Islamic institutions post-1980s. Based on this transformation, the study draws on the strategic use of religious sentiments and Islamic discourse and argues that women’s prioritization of Islamic identity has increased their agency in spouse selection and marriage process. Women’s negotiations within an Islamic framework also expose the ways Muslim women counter and redefine gender roles by fortifying their religious beliefs and reinterpreting Islamic doctrine. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Middle East Women's Studies Duke University Press

Palestinian American Women’s Marriages within and beyond Borders

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Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by the Association for Middle East Women’s Studies
ISSN
1552-5864
eISSN
1558-9579
DOI
10.1215/15525864-9767842
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores American Palestinian women’s discursive strategies and identity politics by which they take control of their marital choices. Through the analysis of sixteen in-depth interviews with second-generation Palestinian women and personal observations within the community, the article shows that nationalist and religious discourses produced by the historical contexts respectively stimulated (semi)arranged in-group marriages in the 1990s and self-initiated exogamous marriages as of the early 2000s. Among the group, Islam has become the primary form of identification, and religious discourse has been circulating within Islamic institutions post-1980s. Based on this transformation, the study draws on the strategic use of religious sentiments and Islamic discourse and argues that women’s prioritization of Islamic identity has increased their agency in spouse selection and marriage process. Women’s negotiations within an Islamic framework also expose the ways Muslim women counter and redefine gender roles by fortifying their religious beliefs and reinterpreting Islamic doctrine.

Journal

Journal of Middle East Women's StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2022

References