The cultural inertia of the habitus: Gendered narrations of agency amongst educated female Palestinians in Israel

Samira Alayan*, Gad Yair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Key experiences are short and intense instructional episodes that students remember to have had a decisive effect on their lives and are usually equated with a sense of self-direction and empowerment. This study analyzes gender differences in the narrations of key educational experiences of Palestinian Israeli students-an educated segment in Israeli-Palestinian society. The results suggest that while female Palestinians in Israeli academic programs have attained more than equal gender representation, a significant number of respondents still express traditional gendered conceptions. Though academically successful, many female students hide motives of agency, while expressing their stories as traditional gendered narratives. These results imply that while gender equality has been formally attained amongst Palestinians in Israel, gender differences persist with regard to women's basic cultural habitus, even amongst educated students. It thus suggests that while efforts to achieve formal and institutional gender equality are necessary, they are hardly sufficient conditions for changing cultural conceptions of gender subjectivity.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)831-850
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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