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Postcolonial Feminism, the Politics of Identification, and the Liberal Bargain Author(s): Amalia Sa'ar Reviewed work(s): Source: Gender

and Society, Vol. 19, No. 5 (Oct., 2005), pp. 680-700 Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. Stable URL: . Accessed: 06/03/2013 06:12
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AMALIA SA'AR University of Haifa

The article focuses to liberalism and Kandiyoti's connections

on the complex positioning of people from disempowered backgrounds with respect liberal dividends. The author offers the term liberal bargain, paraphrasing Deniz "ethnic bargain," and dwells on the inter "patriarchal bargain" and Cynthia Cockburn's

between the three. The liberal bargain indicates the particular consciousness and symbolic that "colorized" (i.e., excluded/oppressed) whitening people tend to adopt when they attempt to cash in on the liberal promise. Within the discourse of postcolonial feminism, the concept is intended topromote the discussion color metaphors of power habitually among women, differentials through refining the analytically used to address issues of hegemony and ethnocentrism. dissatisfactory


postcolonial feminism; eral epistemology







how their

1988, Deniz Kandiyoti
women life living options. under She

introduced the term "the patriarchal bargain" to explain
to maximize responses and optimize security to male dominance vary

strategize patriarchy showed that women's

widely, variant women vering

to the objective available under each opportunities according particular of patriarchy. Such from collaboration, responses range eager whereby mores maneu act as devout of patriarchal to skillful and values, guardians to make overt to while levels of and different conflict, avoiding gains passive

active resistance. Kandiyoti
AUTHOR'S Fieldwork

thus sought to distinguish

among different degrees and

NOTE: / thank my many feminist sisters for years of inspiring discussions and experiences. was made possible thanks to the generous funding of the Wenner-Grenn Foundation and the Trust; most important, thanks to the kindness and openness of many Palestinian Lady Davis Fellowship individuals. I also thank editor Christine Williams and the anonymous readers for their comments and Rosovsky for his careful editing of the manuscript.


REPRINT University

: Amalia Sa 'ar,University of Haifa, Department REQUESTS of Sociology and Anthropology, of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel; e-mail: saaram@

GENDER & SOCIETY, Vol. 19No. 5, October 2005 680-700 DOI: 10.1177/0891243205278405 ? 2005 Sociologists forWomen in Society 680

This content downloaded on Wed, 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

at least the hierarchical and selective a of liberal orders. of identity a liberal on the Local discourses adopt epistemology. among identities. of the investments." order." members that is. context. Such depending women are more bargain with patriarchy acquiescence than to resist it.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 681 forms of women within benefit cycle women's on one hand and of patriarchal oppression to with respect power/disempowerment the from system that by and large works against the unequal their particular to convey the complex on the other. and and they include dif commitment. dynamic and behaviors social states. alized groups internalize liberal epistemology tomaximize security and optimize their life options. groups to the likely dominant to sign up for an "ethnic ethnic in exchange group bar for patronage I want expand tive. This was and accommodation identified as a major gender orders. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . promoting conflictive The attitudes liberal emotional authority. character Despite quite of marginalized some to stand or benefits from groups them. to continue the notion of the bargain There is. Not coin demographic in the case education. which Certain gain. Like patriarchal and ethnic ferent bargains. imposed sense the process of mental in of the modes of response. discourse. They strategize tomaterialize whatever limited benefits they may extract from their disadvantaged position in the liberal order. is important to ponder. of disadvantaged to provide services in the then permeates and underpins all other distinctions. behaviors tend to range from it for and meaning making. active forms process whereby mem Accordingly. gain to believe that they do. She women. or protection. levels of liberal bargains may have many variations. and action. adopting knowing. they often or racial background. their ethnic and their gender (notably at the same some time enjoy to their thanks may advantages. on some their women stage likely positioning argued stand in the to strike that to life a or on arrangements. source of to existing related term Recently." the concept of the patri to the theory. gender familial status. namely. concept to working with to passive liberal refers bargain to a particular bers of disadvantaged to a degree. Many of those who face exclusion because of their attributes of women) occupation. by peo ple on the fringes of the liberal order who face a complex of blockades and partial opportunities. bargain. Cynthia Cockburn archal ethnic Julius sents bargain. I would direction and Cockburn of Kandiyoti and analytical a broader to include perspec political-economic also a liberal Some members of margin suggest. Mathews the power along with Cockburn (Cockburn relations some suggests 2004) in any (2004) proposed applying other the calls given concepts "ethnic order. few seem members groups become identified with the hegemonic order. politics are quick to condemn as forms or see them as such tendencies of sellout to deny forlorn the barriers I suggest that attempts by skin color. However. or to other ascribed traits that are less stigmatized. It therefore people and social consciousness that intermediate worldviews allows living a nuanced under of reading condi oppressive This content downloaded on Wed. what Jill paraphrasing ethnic order The repre gender an initial social dif from the "gender society. cidentally. The concept of the liberal bargain facilitates a consideration admits prevalent of cultural and attributes. and actively internalizing short-term gains while avoiding of resistance. are which establish ferentiation by ethnicity.

527) writes heuristic that while purposes.1 framings. to treat women domi nant ways of thinking according bargain analysis. Floya Anthias (1998. their "ethnos ontological [sic]" and class may domains intersect be analytically and become separated constitutive for of This content downloaded on Wed. so the and and its liberalism. Anthias and Yuval Davis 1992. It holds up a mirror to diverse modes and behaving nant order. Among marginalized practices drive and tend to combine cultural a firm political awareness with aspect celebra of the of to preserve indeed a keen of modernity. which by its very definition most course immediate on Israeli enemy. exemplary Palestinian then of the applicability of postcolonial feminist politics across the color lines. among offering racial. OF ARTICULATIONS AND LIBERALISM and ethnicity as interconnected and mutually informing. This is doubly relevant to women. a particular also makes be discussed contribution ongoing debates within feminism. which of diverse social and ethnic backgrounds. which anticipates disjunctions as a useful serve tool location to move impossibility a politics of of joint action by women identification. members a way out as they The Palestinian is identified with its state's for formalistic enjoy important simultaneously of the notion of the professional dis are particularly confusing face multiple but also oppressions bargain addresses precisely to the domi of their ethnic in the to some liberal this type of situation.) part of of marginalized from treating or structural categories actors solely with on As of thinking.g. Because between social from a politics on the liberal bargain admits and in fact and of social consciousness.682 GENDER & SOCIETY / October 2005 tions. This complex lives of a national minority. embedding eral of my the theoretical framework to on the interconnectedness liberal offering color to explore that underlies of or "white" the analysis. consciousness who adopt in dominant masculinities. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to focuses I start by outlining next section is dedicated I then move patriarchy. liberalism. closing affiliation the article. Allen and Macey 1994. rather first than of to their Israeli to their specific positioning with respect to the lib skin or This will form the basis alone. has eluded Israeli the local and much women Palestinians. gender. Israeliness. knowing. I will exemplify women are citizens of significantly the notion of the liberal bargain with Israel.. gender women as an case and study. ethnicity.. the opposite. class. is focused it can on the identity. gender. advantages. As the case of Palestinian weakened even local relevant ian citizens national tions opportunities of the state. the concept positioning. authenticity. MULTIPLE ETHNICITY. In a comprehensive theoretical article. respect the basis will (national. This theoretical position has been extensively formulated by several scholars (e. exclusion and I elaborate Israel's elements liberal below. although some it still offers ethno-national by the state's agenda. For them. to its most the Palestin citizens. This article approaches PATRIARCHY.. liberal ideologies hold particu larly promising time as actual prospects liberal regimes of liberation from primordial oppressions perpetuate their subordination (Barriteau at the same 1998). O'Connor 1993).

liberalism and so do the particular bases of inclusion and exclu vary. are diverse. notably term to The implementations additional Accordingly. liberties universal cease are rights. they character to exist entirely. Hardwick be used (2004) Europe Soviet American issue. affiliations. is relevant liberalism with exemplifies due to its intertwining with Zionism. and as the Zionist tinians within fications project national privileges further To communities. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is that differences monolithic likewise. degree property. ethnicity. power. case sion. selves and Ethnicity. far from e. for members its gains of the national minority contents of seem ous minimal. often granted and protection from or withdrawn remains even arbitrary according value. Finally. as Nanette in a generic there are many Funk liberalisms. Within to the rule of law. colonized. below. here has and Union. Miller 1998). much mech it as a is almost race. and it too will sense. In this article. case shown in the of Eastern and Central recently postcommunist the former In Eastern Soviet Union. both socialism neutrality. 1998. study a situation in which to bargain even when. to the contours.g. applies it to the components disembodiment. specific with each other. to address its specific forms of gender term liberalism as she is rather loose. democracy state Critical and and implications religion debate mean social instead scientists that for there the ethno-national Israel reject the definition over the This content downloaded on Wed. public-private struggles in the region have had use Funk's of the Interestingly. liberalism and means in the margins. feminist militarization women fore authors and and within have the across of added lack of the direct separation as a liberal discriminatory between lines. in nearly or concepts all of liberalism with the have differed from the Anglo usually take the feminist oppression. indicate they intertwined nationalism.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 683 into the analysis of racial and ethnic exclusion is perti Bringing gender to reversing a one-dimensional of much the tendency to adopt of this literature focus. for one. feminists of individualism. them archetypes more so. various produce is exclusionary use I will whose naturalized Anzilotti forms common domina 2002. state and postsocialism. generic denominator tion. and Central and the former Europe for example. as an umbrella term for political orders that promote the idea of civil society. commitment a fundamental consequently. Patriarchy. ideological limitation of political power. are very broad terms. The that I present women of Palestinian citizens of Israel. independence. Israel's self-definition as a liberal ethnic order as the state-supported Westernization of the two main each democracy Jews grants has generated has come under over ethnic this seri Pales strati to some challenge. I too will be using liberalism liberally. At the same into the analysis of gender the time. Although to collective and these in practice. Patriarchy.. Lee and Clark 2000. anisms. Kandiyoti 1988. of exclusion and (see. possible essentialized religion. criticism. divide. of private Within this general the particular outline. Accordingly. the claim to gender which virtue versions namely. and and their otherwise liberalism historically always and oppressed categories. where people are entitled to certain civil their never freedoms. incorporating oppression intersections other major between mechanisms is complex exclusionary promoted as critical to making to women feminists feminism relevant of by postcolonial nent marginalized.

localized especially in postcolonial situations. of issues. political Pateman thought.. masculinity with liberalism arrangements. local receptions of modernity have has perpetuated large. and the axiomatic entities status woman (Connell with 1996. inter modernity assumes changeably. Within this universal pro been immensely diverse (see.1993.. the latter representing what Eudine Barriteau of a better quality of to human affairs.Walby 1990). Lughod Miller 1994). with paradoxical results. and it is perti Israel them and is 1999). LiPuma 2000. Feminist mentations. "ethnic state" (Ghanem of the present discussion. that renders of the the operation an aggregate of political bargain. patriarchal regimes. the powerful drive tomod ernize has frequently been bound up with forces that seem to contradict its very essence. Chandra Talpade Mohanty (1999) notes that under advanced This content downloaded on Wed. and Local discourses. state capitalism and man Together (Connell difference. of civil Among the main of men's prostitution. is that liberalism. exclusive curso modern the rights. as and neutral. Abu 1998. their suitable It is the for an constitutes a symbolic sys tem that is intertwined with world historical processes of capitalism and globaliza tion and with modernity.While it oppresses with an array case of rights opportunities limited character of examination Beyond that are important in the lives of families of their liberal entitlements liberal norms.g. is also ethnic and racist liberalism (e. arguments cal insist on imple about the gender-specific state are well are known rily. approach ethnic reality. On the ground. the deeply masculine the person indi particularly state mechanisms the notion vidualistic.2 All too often.g. Eisenstein the centrality 1984. being modern. Kanaaneh 2002. themselves imagining gender progressive A working of this article. practices inside citizens 1998). independent. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . e. to the political and of 1991 . experiences often (see Foster use liberalism 2002). modernity some the of major conceptual providing such outcomes. notably nationalism (Chatterjee 1986. Okin M?ller its various patriarchal 1991. notwithstanding. The evident as part of a more between general link inclination elements By and these to and persistent blindness to compartmentalize complex of and familiar characteristics is hardly surprising. Comaroff and Comaroff 1997. Dirks 1990) and religious funda mentalism (Hefner 1998). right or pornog as institutions raphy (MacKinnon character 1989. these ideologies buttress highly hierarchi and explicitly which nevertheless.Walby accorded 1986). 1988. the concept of the liberal bar gain is oriented to lived. assumption in articulation exists with male domination. modern tracking." promise a rational view of progress. sexuality.684 GENDER & SOCIETY /October 2005 terms "ethnic democracy" (Smooha 2002). patriarchal for the realization tools of and political cess. to women's the bolstering. 1990. For the purpose (Yiftachel "ethnocracy" nent and racist that its exclusionary character not an apartheid state as regards the Palestinians its Palestinian the state furnishes collectively. of marriage. it. the gendered hence and existing nature of in separation from others (Di Stefano and procedures. Davis 1981). Kittay of sexual 1999). of modern character of liberal rights and the patriarchal basis of the liberal and will within through not be repeated bills here. (1998) has called "the life a linear This enlightenment promise. Within these grand projects. 1992). liberalism and individuals. in its diverse then. Wittig phases.

small it keeps alive the that most life situa man the gains in concrete tions. has and dominant groups. partial profits are significant. of gen irrespective than far narrower class. constitute systems is necessarily orders also. they race. Pierre Bourdieu (1977. promises unfounded. promises It offers ever-expanding an escape from affiliations. that ideologies of heterosexual women these femininity. but recognize the legitimacy of the dominant classi in the very of neutralizing those fication fact that their only chance of its effects use to their own to them most to make interests lies in submitting in order contrary of them. male" varying with cultural respect invisible and margins calls "situa distances. ing the sphere of civil society to the ethnically Since liberal archal. or gender-free Yet liberalism which leads it actively a powerful gendered lence of the dominant groups. while It is demo This acts as an inclusive at the same important source of legitimacy grand members dream of the self-made of marginalized as follows: "Social groups to liberal ideology. To these are notably pretend gendered graphically ethnicized. domesticity. also but the of oppression. economic and social success. bargain Racism in ethnicethnicity. generally. effectively generally to substandard overworked. time that it is structurally exclusive. 164-65) describes this such as order. This citizen-consumer is made possible noncitizen and legitimate or lesser-citizen through the cheap and often invisible minorities. culture. who those obtain who to pull out of the do manage measures of what Marnia to traverse positioning acquired epistemology. and docility play in channeling Third World in a variety economies. both because and stand because to get however from liberalism. to be. of actual It meanings and maleness of course This content downloaded on Wed. rational and excellence of other resources. reiterate. operate of class. aspects. help. power" to their relative according On they the way to converting Lazreg and social liberal adopt habitually to "think white"/"think learning of whiteness into capital The mental is often quite being to ethnicity and gender. process by the symbolic categories disadvantaged women cannot and the young. through against-all-odds comfort of mass media entertainment. Liberalism dazzling to ever-expanding numbers of individuals.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 685 capitalism." To assume tional be accepted. civility. 32). and necessary. and patri ethnic not does liberalism the other its ethnic much tends of the forms and vio exist domination. Mohanty exposes the role labor of racialized. opportunities surround success stories. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to choose the grip of primordial ties and the freedom and change seems to offer returns for acquirable human tangible capital. ethnicity. as sense that their work is constructed and temporary. merely supplementary. It also education. diverse and cultural with context process the bound. handling der. The middle they are not entirely women does and ethnic include minorities. different need social their (2000. the consumer is created as the citizen. non work) are severely not if denied restricted leav altogether. The of of national civil rights jobs workers in the and unrecognized (unrecognized underpaid. that operates and sexism and gender at their mutually conjuncture outside liberal zones. to sublimating The image of openness ability or whitewashing and reproduces to naturalize inclusion that to remain the liberal or the the overwhelming barriers structural despite captivating consumer celebrated order. and or but religion.

feminists the have against social ventional colorized generally. of modernism regarded the (1992) documented Iran. too general and therefore analytically it would be more useful women insufficient. out the and popularized and white. the spe women. science. fairly discrimination or means that groups oppressed an has made feminism exclusionary and Feminism life experiences the exclusive focus and ideol practice ogy. themselves of objectification liberated subjects. one-sided women complex on difference. often denounced Mohanty duplicates in con "brown" and of as reproduction diversity. for culture this process in the case of or In Egypt.g. Lazreg the argument goes. educated. Furthermore. with colonialism cultural imperialism. well order. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . has forcefully integrated the color metaphor narrative Western dimension names feminism. "go white. despite as the fact that indigenous long ago as the early the colonized world tieth century.. Such feminism. or so. The internalization of modes of thinking and knowing is central to the working of the liberal bargain. interests and that is linked well are relatively vis-?-vis the liberal from marginalized is. Complicating Whiteness. as the to obstacle progress major the prototypical litmus the for testing paper This content downloaded on Wed. color" women ignore 1991 biases This within to one their ). such mental accommodation greatly facilitates the daily handling of racism and sexism. emphasis their and and rejects the that (such claiming lives superior the latter approach tends to "women to reduce and housework) 1988. One is the per 1991). women's the past hundred years term feminism the with regarded suspicion are at least two reasons for this. it to apply more gener while valu While women "white" ally. became widely twen construed as a form of ideological sprang up throughout imperialism. forms of struggle. feminists activists have discrimination in gender-mixed while eschewing As other a result. able Instead I adopt this critical position. There major to focus their struggle exclu Western of mainstream." My to argue I want that the color metaphor. Historian Leila Ahmed the Muslim sions and world. which history (e. is its historical identification. well Leaving documented. to consider cific positioning fringes At and of dominant different human with historical respect to the liberal bargain of women moments during within or on the groups. off. A second source of discomfort with feminism rightly feminisms or not. of agency. as complex and historically women and to colorized whiteness. the category attempt. notably that of feminism rights (Johnson-Odim sistent sively ethnic inclination on gender struggles women who settings.686 GENDER & SOCIETY / October 2005 helps the successful accrual of symbolic capital. in its urge to incorporate ethnicity into the analysis of into feminist oppression. and as I discuss below. is white I nevertheless want to redirect the emphasis on situated agents back to the center and who is to complicate for of its expressivity. Complicating Maleness Third World gender debates. the version has become most widely with positioned of women on gender acknowledged. "white" feminists academic through constitute discursive as women. Turkey. alike framed Muslim state of women as ver local and colonial example.

discursive originated gained also by and culture. women and does It also patriar upward transparency in feminist Liberalism element. with As Becky Thompson feminist (2002) groups. culture. they feminism. from marginalized the dominant from with from all its (white women) Indeed. and Third class "socialist" between World that despite the are unified and hegemonic "socialist" feminism seemingly in their does of consisting She contends phases. their absent Mizrahi from the groups." "radical/cultural. its clear class despite society 2002). of cultural development. they formed also developed organizations. They marginal are Mizrahis have been historically their culture subordinated within Israeli Jewish society. groups limitations. and of educa through such achieve structural people to leave as local. resulted in Israel Black intensified are considered in Israeli in point. Third World feminist theory feminists have poignantly to accommodate women dwelled on the inability of mainstream living the core of liberal society. Organization wave. liberal ethnicized society. consciousness-raising or debates on the for Women. But behind. to theory. outlines a four-phase feminist history of con "liberal. Jews multiple The of Arab gender example descent. related disadvantaged In and achievements. the working measure.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 687 level ment. and women. this has had to do with the fact that the work of women spaces. feminisms. gender-mixed Native organizations. disempower juncture truism. and Asian American. margins histories individuals women nature. for example. Likewise. at the level of description It incorporates of color mainly feminists logic. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . mainstream agenda and tended tomarginalize Notwithstanding men are not necessarily admit admits chal mobility tion. of wives the exclusive suburban became landmarks of this predicament Largely. are not sufficient Still. accounts normative of but disregards their original contribution movement in the United it as pri the second-wave feminist States depict inaccurately hegemonic of women of color and middle in femi white class. uncritically The which quickly adopted pan-Arabism. the founding of the National groups. activists core of despite (Damary Madar circles. of As notably postcolonial nationalism. Islam.S. Those are do backgrounds. and ethnic of Mizrahi who allegiances feminists groups outside in their is a case the United States. openings. inward. Although among women. modern its clearly allow does for people structurally to undo and occupation." "Marxist. colonialism. The intense engagement marily nist work women's the is and 1970s during largely ignored. these (1991). and theArab components have often Israeli been as their modernization. of themselves. address divisions the same all-knowing the argument it too is still locked within goes. are expected at best framed This content downloaded on Wed. Chela Sandoval sciousness. Concomi regarded impeding feminism the intra-Jewish ethnic overlooked persistently of tan tly. invisibility affected feminists from nondominant where ization. exclu from the their thus of discrimination exist who for succeed or a trickle in small there is a price. histories These ignored. and they feminist white-dominated of color extended feminists women's autono Similar of women-only beyond color have worked caucuses mous Black. in existing Latina. link between political in the particular historical of an ahistorical the status the major political outside counternarratives. and it was modernity such. ments sion. documents." serious exclusion racial and differences of U.

those people closest career women of excluded of many This backgrounds. which is framed as global (see Lazreg 2000.688 GENDER & SOCIETY /October 2005 colorizing the boundaries of the white-transparent the unilinear and heart of civilization. women in the popular This content downloaded on Wed. Rather. paradigms ethnicity. or a monolithic As several scholars phenomenon. through access to the right cul and minority tural capital. Being exclusionary not entirely out of reach also to prerogatives as nonmales As dominant identi and nonwhites. ness. also entails maleness. logic. White members even as and normatively epistemologies. they would defy singular character so central to white historiography. or as of are in positions to share the liberal dividend. free of so elements. epistemology often whiteness involves attitudes include and understandings cultural elements embracing related that are explicitly as taste. Adopting liberal reduces the friction that their particularistic traits are constantly in a conscious It enables strategy. Not of modernity. This is crucial in facili men who. character because regimes they are essen to the between amenable tensions particularly exposing aspects white-male classified maleness minority to the core of women. or rac forms of sexism symbolic them as harmless noise background even to become blind may totally this is not necessarily igniting. they assume are anchored in robust of power. Yet liberal regimes. the constructionist they individuals ties tion among middle-class too. called They would disrupt the ideal of a neutral civil zone. epistemology danger people ism. entity tend to coexist in given cultural of masculinity models settings (Connell vergence of maleness 1995. to acculturation In that hegemonic Beside outlooks it operates it is a form liberal bargain) the dominant as "going white. is a fixed multiple and liberalism. not sex and or whiteness." Signifi is largely about conscious subjective and the subordinate alike. They such expressions discourse whiteness bad them. and such offenses of refers (the among liberal by reclassifying taste. the liberal order. are not But from render at once identities. Cornwall and whiteness and Lindisfarne represent 1994). cantly. are matters of historical conscious decidedly a formidable in practical experience. They like wise dominate most local that masculinity have demonstrated. a masculine Adopting outlook. the seeming con interrelations of gendered the close and ethnic domination within Maleness ness. masculine or morale. skin color. and unchanging Liberal orders tialist and and inclusive. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . would the "analytical also cleanliness" primordial They sully to positivistic imperative methodology. then. bargain grounds have to adopt itsmodes tating success for women of thinking and knowing. a good To strike with of disempowered back members liberalism. such it affects tends automatically may further positioned people of the ethnic individuals white the basis in certain of their minorities become on important individual they continue women of to face oppression the dominant group cease to be white Likewise. ethnicity. Should local histories be incorporated into the canon. to mitigate tolerable Popular then. such to gender. of social and whiteness govern and concep thought so to be particularly as highly educated upper from majority. 32). a of consciousness. the center since respects. which appear gender neutral but whose gendered character is in fact hidden or implicit. although from encounter subordinate who groups.

as they claim in Israel tend to grow and ways even celebrate of entitlements. refuses link gender crimination nificant their own issues with is vital. take a despite paradigm (1991) contention and hegemonic. which Sandoval calls "differential. strategies. depending thus Israel allowing that need my arguments of as sets far. political sense of belonging and on them. This fifth mode. inculcated On also effects On entitle and may a marginalizing of feminism feminism. and therefore very of their and it does not privilege one oppositional (equal rights. their effect awareness. Here. of women. feminisms). and which while to the woman. which to constantly confronted. they do not deny the liberal reduces them. I turn now to cash and the in on limits to discuss the benefits that their by Palestinian offers order national tification bers with their of citizens them attempts practical the liberal-Zionist exclusion national as a iden mem individuals. the widest larity is that which leaving unchallenged focuses narrowly on amending the normative construct of gender discrimination. While benefits by have from action. attitudes Through and effectiveness making move the differ contrast to of seemingly them out versions. 60) in calls "the need for singular identity. revolutionary. in the face of answer. shift. a practical. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . here have branches the been described conservative and that has exposed gained they espe to derive likely when accompanied well within one has hand." the subjectivity ofMasculinity is a tactical who one struggle ideology on one. to survive It is a political version. enactment and all of ment ential It is not historically organized. they produce to power. Instead. it challenges embrace for better the irony. they produce whiteness in the process. the potential them. too often. Hegemonic dominant partly affinity culture. history would Chela Sandoval's are. of therefore oppression some that collective their liberal proud anchored poverty in the and exclu people to be life advocates people any denies as the final the kinds recenter." is profoundly antithetical to the others. All epistemological. to such minority and resentment the Palestinian attempts. larger forms of oppression. over any separatist) these possible mode enactments between transforms supremacist it recognizes incorporates different hegemonic women-are-better-than-men. now 40. other. she to the mode consciousness themselves. it is getting important. the process I have even in its most consciousness the version para (liberal oppositional the other hand. affecting it. bargain This content downloaded on Wed. In glaring the dominant Western Configurations that Sandoval experiences sion. numbers logic. limitations popu order. that Third World feminists have enacted during the past 30.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 689 descriptive are cially ment The doxical. years. comfortable increasingly While thinking. or gender. of the liberal still sense when they become critically aware of their privileges. these regimes it easier results Very or worse. she points that all four major phases of To overcome of this trap. Imentioned feminist argues. because Such feminist discourse invocations an make invokes familiarity with and affinity to the to identify with and sometimes and also disseminate. Fighting and against gender dis the lives of sig liberal regimes using of course. against the dominant ethnicity community manners cultural and may Notwithstanding the state. their reduces whiteness. To illustrate of preoccupation with what Christine Di Stefano ( 1991. lies and moreover.

also they them. notably through access to plentiful consumerism. suffer to provide domestic abuse. and gendered. for people who its very negation also derive the liberal order. ployment. and discriminated are and grants citizenship the right education. system protection and for and through the for women rights. Rhoda in Galilee is outright in an (2002). they are at the and treated with endemic against suspicion. they were society. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Hanna Herzog (2004) ponders why only 18 out of 108 edu cated ism" Israeli in their Palestinian life stories. Shalhoub-Kevorkian of patriarchal preserver over the years. From a different angle. them to vote same Israeli echelons. Haj-Yahia as a passive (Hasan the state 2002). 1995. The Liberal Promise and Its Limitations Backgrounds with whose situation I am acquainted through my for Women Israeli from Marginal Palestinian women. components identity state racism and the highly Israeli-Palestinian antagonistic besides liberal forms of resis and diverse bargains. space liberal. that excludes culture tinian writes. opportunities. segregation that the scope of the present discussion. documents the modern-liberal (northern Israel). of location racialized the Palestinian As of the women inhabitants liberal-civic case Israeli them or colored. of women's or active However.690 GENDER & SOCIETY / October 2005 the power of these important conflict produce. women's for women general under 1999). By and large. mostly in the of this promotion Israeli the court through In postcolonial ethno-national cultural space. Deniz from meaning Kandiyoti positive inform choices but do not merely women's rational "Patriarchal bargains the more unconscious aspects of their gendered subjectivity" (1988. and high sexual underdeveloped levels of crime and women infrastructure. However. "reflects and other avoidance the absence because that they suffered directly term "racism" the explicit in a racialized of the term in the for legitimacy This content downloaded on Wed. of Palestinian women's ethnography of and and desires modernity practices how they feature in a nuanced and complex jigsaw of national and ethnic identities. violence. lie outside these tance. welfare. anthropological ethno-national. to note to shape a critical It is social consciousness. Arab. to the courts.4 Although in poverty from and in the lowest socioeconomic unem To to and their Israeli rights appeal structurally Palestinians Their housing overrepresented areas residential suffer shortages. the control and male domestic have chal organizations death threats. extenuate severe certain and time research and political activism. Although the com component is not. This puzzling she argues. these multiple oppressions. measures of domestic and Palestinian oppression (Espanioly exposed Glazer Abu-Ras state acts violence lenged who 1994. hostility. also. shape 285). and delimit the implications transparency of liberal. class terminology. order makes re-create legislation. communal are frequently 1997. dominant exclusion.3 suffer from triple marginalization: class-based. women which interviewed were offenses of replete for with her research used the term "rac instances of blunt discrimination. in this women as Israeli Pales are ostensibly are complex. This Zionist ponent lives characterization of Israeli Kanaaneh is applicable culture to liberal bargains exclusive.

(Sa'ar ethnographic the contradictory of Israeli situation concerns localized and identities global orientations on the other. this 76). cannot situations who be underestimated. 2004). emerge which in my was own combined with work a vivid sense of minority. 61). The into ref Abna' mili il-Sakhneen operation Israel. . planned when to have babies. inside Israel) hundreds the Arab won of families soccer team cup. (2004. Along it. These accused expressed Israel tary of Sakhneen. or kept healthy with a specific vision of modernity depictions Another combination strong in mind. have from more authors the perspective of the liberal seem at than may in common more potential substantial entrances points to the prevents the benefits A woman made of 40 the fol Palestinian myriad. the dominated women adopt the lan While (2002) presentation. first glance. took deliberate and as "I am she not such steps to ensure that her Israelization did not carefully this "I make to the sure interviewer. done. research. go get my shopping a to start up a business for me I know there. And that there's always possibility come to my clients from hair salon in the village" I have many Jewish there. in Herzog's (2004) interpretation. dozens turning of people. the reports The of as these their two own. where of modernity. a series of demonstrations inside provoked to be highly that emotional. I am in the Israeli society and I have no doubt that I took and absorbed things from essentialist life experience on discourse is partly Israeli" national identities. an interviewee in Herzog's study said. Israeli culture formidable sometimes constitute ethno-national large-scale civil privileged such excursions that odd they years yield from segregation acceptance. 334). staged on This content downloaded on Wed. the coffee hair mall. who a village in Galilee. They consumed. Palestinians on This one was hand is the and Similar 2000. in Kanaaneh's language bargain. from often touch Although and fleeting. . when in the midst of a large Israeli launched military operation in the occupied city of Rafah in the south of the Gaza Strip. and lucidly brought home to me one day inMay 2004. . the guage of their domination. . phrases assimilating" what I have. in Israel Jews and a strong tendency women to construct in national adopt and the discourse rather thus than civil about terms.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 691 discourse tions over. (from tens of residential and killing the town several buildings. . . My similar lines. However. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." The women represented inKanaaneh's (2002) ethnography did just the same but mostly without the explicit identity terminology. on the nearby city in my participated of Karmiel: "Regardless (Sa'ar 2000. comment of what the Arabs here lowing our me a for it's I in the village about taken break. Palestine tended the state in occupied demonstrations of committing of outrage a sense genocide and despair. cated political weaken repeating her activist. and war Israeli Palestinians Many One of these demonstrations. Karmiel lands. ugees destroying yet again. say great having or can go there and have to all by myself. turning in concrete life into permanent. the the rela More between it indicates and Palestinian-Arabs the dominated how reproduce language of the dominant group as well as dominant knowledge" (p. Well versed a in the highly local edu particular verbalized and woman. "Today. not to lose Palestinianness. like it or not. slogans using crimes. they claim it. of expression of increasingly regional. women space. national. desired.

courage appreciate handling non wedded preoccupied servatism was also status. come to I have her in wisdom and her prolonged tance. who in last example. At the same she time. individualistic mobility. the underdog plausible conveyed that the frantic festivities more than a fraction of at the height of the humiliating Rafah operation symbolic revenge. bargain. which defy and blame Israel's self-declared liberalism. traveled there sad television of the demonstrators' trip back north. as a school administrative Yara worldview jobs at theMinistry of the Islamic of Education. academic and adamant education popular chances employed. degree Imet Yara education from one of the major Israeli universities. of shortcutting the laborious course of the organized leagues." the score One "We of on their bus changed the participants. as she combines being a strong religiously modernist observant. and class components of the liberal bargain. The tearful men in the street who said on Israeli television that the victory was a proof that coexistence was possible were not merely were moment took trying to appease Jewish Israeli public opinion. attention the positive Although a proper soccer more to demand the opportunity in Sakhneen. pictures joy. weeping soccer. their fear unmarried keen of aberrant and women Yara was in her community. the national divisions and But unity to a Zionist historical it reflects of Palestinians scheme divisions the liberal to divide among within and and rule. This content downloaded on Wed. the Palestinians where orientation. condition. It was a tre of Pal a brief It is (a pseudonym). told me. this to emphasize internal religious. independent to continue and and a career ambitious. To I turn incentives to relax into the promising face of liberal tie together the gendered.692 GENDER & SOCIETY / October 2005 the far southern border of Gaza Strip. victory. and local patriotism while engaging in political discourses of historical justice. at the con and frustrated women. teacher her education despite would her impede she was therefore and in different of bachelors strongly convictions of marrying throughout career oriented advanced further. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . through my research on unmarried or so years Palestinian and over the seven of our acquain women. that even her Hard working studies. and of breaking right through to the top. They the sweet the respect for a hard-won and a rare battle. Israeli streets that night of Israeli in the celebrating Abna' il-Sakhneen. Israel and the various reinforce temporary or regional mostly. Localization is happening despite salient discursive moves to relate ethnic. For impossible. to one at the age of 32 got a master's that of Yara. contradictory pursue practices of modernity. outside Partly. took place the same day that the Sakhneen team won mood the cup. partial gains provide powerful ideology. But it also conveyed the possi bility of succeeding against all odds. a radical feminist Salwa called and returned broadcasted with did the happy. then. to get married. of elation. Sakhneen. enjoying gained some from of getting mainstream media. identity without is an apt example a strong and liberal Despite (Erdreich her potential and Rapoport exposure 2002). sense mendous estinians moment. Israeli Palestinians enthusiastically were statements political consistently In seemingly moves. stadium explicit avoided. Hearing dramatically. with Like her many other status. to critical Yara's theories at the School in knowledge of Education as a engagement production. ethnic.

personnel is situated and therefore yields explicitly among and school political Arab This impli and narra a mainstream she joined narrative in the educational administration the professional system. However. shifts While Israel with the context. Erdreich 2003). Those who tread the liberal path may join in collective of action or critical possibilities discourse. for example. profession and a ticket liberal The estinian ambivalent has to the and the first generation been for her elite. the context the more and people on have their sense invested in liberalism. liberal liberalisms case internalizing in the of Yara. range The from levels of needs and desires despite of acceptance and of Israeli actively them for promoting short-term and the increasingly popular ism and other available their gains. Bargaining with liberalism does not exclude the possibility of resistance.. discursive narratives and tone. with Furthermore. Israeli are liberal Pal are multivocal. func degree curricula in analyses. motivate the ongoing plex the of gender. participation through with through working in formal politics. which the less likely and are or to act they are to develop Cultural social attributes. attitudes toward outright Significantly. I end this briefcase systems. for example. the discus attitude is not to bene rare among likely fit from the liberal order. are dynamic and images of modernity. sentiments toward deeply episte are often mology retains its hegemony national in local articulations rhetoric. affected by liberal bargains. modernity negative.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 693 student tionalist education. consciousness. tive habitually ination tism against of Arab identifies as themajor maladies Arab teachers. The power exceptions a good of the state soccer case to sum il-Sakhneen cup by Abna' provides the fragility of Israeli Palestinians' entitlements for liberal participation. a graduate doing new developing focused and for Arab dissonance. open on the objective on depending to them. through celebrating a critical identities. internalization of epistemology. for upward has entailed mobility. reshuffling between interrelations these that inhere They phenomena. to change from accumulating the existing relations. consciousness. public schools did not seem to create any entirely on the consistently shunned Yara universal-liberal the notion that knowledge cations. Jewish In this. its potentially and parallel experience critical and outlook. and research assistant. in her family with higher education. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . schools Since and the poor these problems of the system the budgetary discrim resources are generally Yara's who are and general deemed conserva correctable human within sion of the concept of liberal rights. significant her personal growth. an the clearly discriminatory Yara's involvement from woman and oppres in it served as a fam 1995). For in successful a note study with exclusion hinders This content downloaded on Wed. to passive active forms of resistance (e. ethnicity. the narrative in effect depoliticizes the colossal highly failure educated of Arab Israeli public education. and citizenship. (Al-Haj As a nonmarried a lower-class ily background. local This.g. opportunity in turn. utilitarian those most Palestinians. students at the Israeli Ministry In her work goal professional of modernizing Arab of Education thinking. as collective are produced To illustrate through the com on the limitations private winning marize bargains. of course. revolved her consistently around conservative. Notwithstanding sive character of state education source of personal empowerment. as authority.

6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . they were Even Salwa. Israel's protesting brutality savor a moment to of national opportunity in that particular the next.5 From Identity article. this the national among soccer. with liberalism. was soon activists the state cup after a Sakhneen player scored a critical goal for Israel in theWorld around the country team. (personal communication the ethno-national matched victory. may quickly public space. speaking Arabic in public places may be too risky at times and allowed and even appreciated at others. regardless of the hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians. and to Identification I have for the need to refine disadvantaged of focusing at the type the tools of assessment within affiliation they stand to of the lib In this behavior argued consciousness I have eral regimes. in the victory with the others. women to met is who Their allowed in. confirmed in the media was not that represented coinci dental but part of the club's policy to avoid politicization with tone Israeli Nuhad endorsed Jewish 'Ali. or "color. the national were filled with loud. I heard publicly against the exclusively gender oppression male character of community. When." it would from of people that instead suggested to look be more useful backgrounds on actors' ethnic of bargain that This content downloaded on Wed. calling stadiums from outcries to bar Arabs So liberal bargains seem to reach their limits. symbolic for the state's liberal claims that itsArab citizens can enjoy full cultural participa tion. if mostly Palestin knowledge.694 GENDER & SOCIETY / October 2005 the demonstrators local moment national protest looked team was an happy who then in Gaza. femininity an aesthetic to contribute and at times added is even speaking. the players and consequently from marginalized For people compo balance delicate between unarticulated. and their gains risk being lost. depending on the type of liberal sensibilities and on among the majority group at each particular scene at any given A similar the general level of ethnic rule antagonism period. racist Cup preliminaries. For example. phase. summer 2004). individual inclusion and collective when exclusion they bargain is deep-seated. occupy applies public positions. who conducted some interviews with functionaries in the Sakhneen football club and followed the nonbelligerent tone of the commentaries the supporters in the local Arab press. Angry consumed in their several times over along belonging. also on the notwithstanding. These efforts by the Palestinian political a few months side. thought aphorically women seem to but such tolerance be when reversed "take over" value. Against as they were this militant mood. provided in the town of support Sakhneen. the relentless within soccer feminist whom the Palestinian and rejoiced were the victory of the one pride. the Yet for the Israeli national team has made soccer an dif successive victories highlighted the exclusionary reinforced groups. when they touch and expose the ethnic (or racial) nerves that underlie the liberal order. Therefore. ians tend to keep their efforts on an individual level and pick carefully the aspects of their difference to be allowed in. broadcast on Israeli the local celebrations television. Sociologist Nuhad 'Ali. arena ference nents of The of of Arab naming players liberal inclusion.

The concept of the liberal bargain. and choices and organizing desires. While formal conditions certainly play mutually as a group. and (critical) of political to reap the liberal social con Non privileges. transformation. "white" options people to be considered Feminist of Palestinian Jewish men. have within tive as they may be. acknowledge on the basis of systematic of social location and potential and expe agency aspects . people. to one degree inclined on the advantages. 378). structural rule out as it is in ethnic aspect of in liberal for partici agentive Because mechanisms entirely possibilities pation and mobility the dominant for members of marginalized groups. between mismatches social between identities the diverse the "color as they issues presented of the body" are produced liberal in par in and ticular historical contexts and the degree towhich persons identify with their identi ties. opposing conceptions subjective. embedded and power regimes. This historical theorization." I find this a good entry point to try to synthesize this article. to Anna that G. open deeper. 41). processes disjunctions sciousness politicized are also class whether between occur (privileged) the social background obvious circles positioned For example. Jonasdottir (1988. of either according in formal terms. Although educated. amenable women they conveniently processes. seemingly primarily a are not necessarily exclusive. character. and selec partial order. Ashkenazi combinations are endorsers of Mizrahi significant also who to such often articulate outside are for epistemology of social (Shohat 2001). In the process. is white and masculine. "brown" who thrives on essentialist rights.Sa'ar / THE LIBERAL BARGAIN 695 strike with liberalism. a result of objective "needs group-based conditions "being or in terms of individualized and desires. which by historical default Common thought interests. highly in their working such women upper-middle environments. whose interests of civil participation crucial role in classifying people and actual entitlement are within discernible. the "color Mulling of the mind. question keeping of around the needs. 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . To bring my argument about the liberal bargain to its logical conclusion." over possible that is. the more of under while fundamental rience. career or not experience disharmony it explicitly. I have discussed how members of subordinate groups adopt epistemol ogy. usually is. supporters seriously. without allows us their do not to note disregarding of exclusion the dynamic. according us to common to Chandra "allows T. transformative consciousness). including women within actors concentrate often groups. despises people "go are prevalent Yet these that with "brown" minds. the hegemonic epistemol are of ogy. that they may are heavily to adopt. . clearly the category. . (the question standing critical. how the content view their of the needs and desires be reduced of cannot interests. patriarchal relations arrangements. politics of identity. now to the complementary (in their demographic which case of people characteristics) who are but "white" not in the in the sense sense of of among" desires. they people to the arbitrary that placed them chance in it. Mohanty interests (1999. and parallel Moreover. the existing they or another." The cultural modate need I turn "being and "needs of people in fixed trappings accom cannot and white" categories." are For these Jonasdottir. activists." which and among. and men may be This content downloaded on Wed.

implies of By identity. groups need to colorize the structural privileges that have feminists rendered from dominant them "white. of sexist. thinking. be may consciousness. without reducing it to being either oppressed or oppressive. appears of the "white" demia. to be that way. (Lorde acceptable as relevant to them racism and classism personally." for racialized themselves. Critical racist. without denouncing particular their This content downloaded on Wed. attuning our creativity can spark it "as a fund of necessary seeing polarities like a dialectic" 1983. of soci as a way a consciousness to of their exclusion of the particular ety to develop history to "think Black" In color "Blacks" should action. Instead. attributes. galvanize popular loss liberate To "think white. create major distinctions these backgrounds. and develop through of exclusion may an experience lead to and affluence nurture conservative as much privilege. physical between survival and the comfort of liberal divi feminists distinctions political-economic be reified. empir positions. them more "white" leaving hierarchical is such unsatisfactory. Analytically. However. consciousness. this is the result in the case of women from dominant groups. A social politics identities. of different need not the privilege not to have to fight for material. "stand who their own tackling alongside . 6 Mar 2013 06:12:56 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . or class If it of ethnic is not derivative gender oppression oppressions. which Outside from leads aca his to adopt masculine feminist politics histories. analytically which and social tions of social cultural consciousness. soci of. or classist offenses. potential people. feminists located in proximity to the liberal well need racism. terminology. To comprehend their deeply contradictory situation. and ethnic exclusion. as The term liberal bargain it were. becomes (Lorde odology for feminist action and consciousness. to be more would admit. privileges that are "white" in the dual categories also A politics of identity usually at the core of liberal orders of women than gendered. between a central which meth historical to difference. taking them is helpful in discerning too personally. are chal women" 1983. as experiences To resist the tempting embrace of liberal hegemony. I have Likewise. 99). these feminists True. sense of social implies outweigh that the same identity the class in dominant logic. reasoning argued Against account combina it cannot for nuanced and politically. and embracing people torically privileged groups who share its critical outlook. historical women postcolonial social interrelations between modes will whiteness of knowing benefit from and maleness. between causality It urges the racialized cultural members attributes. Such an attitude in turn is necessary tomove from denial and guilt to responsibility and mutual exchange (Russo 1991) and to replace an essentialist and limited poli tics of identity with a politics of identification. outside the circle 99). ety's lenged dends to name Through definition to see of and politicize encounters their with pain and people oppression. people and social consciousness.696 GENDER & SOCIETY / October 2005 relatively unable safe from or unwilling injury by to dismiss routine them. in other they may words. of and identity social assumes unilinear consciousness. ." as in the example of Adrienne Rich's (1984) political reading of her own body/person. than discourses reveals ical research identity complex their this gender line. historical privileges without.

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