Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Faithful/Traitor: Violence, Nationalism, and Performances of Druze Belonging
by Pullum, Lindsey Brooke, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2020, 240; 28022098
Abstract (Summary)

In 2018, Israel passed the Basic Law, or more commonly known as the nation-state bill, explicitly stating that Israel is exclusively the state of Jewish people and that national self-determination in Israel is unique to Jews. While some revered the bill for being crucial in a time of increased anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Israeli Druze were outraged and offended by the bill’s language citing their patriotism and service in the Israeli Defense Forces as a marker of being real Israelis. This dissertation investigates contemporary ways ethnic minorities seek recognition and perform belonging within ethnonational states to answer the questions: Why do minority communities participate in perpetuating violence for a state that denies their equality? What do the experiences of minorities reveal about violence’s functional reality for disenfranchised groups?

Drawing on nine months of field research conducted between 2015 and 2018 in Israel and the Occupied Golan Height and in three languages (Hebrew, Arabic, and English), this study integrates ethnographic, media, and sensorial data from cultural performances of Israel’s Druze minority, a bilingual ethno-religious group, within the Green Line and in the Occupied Golan Heights to advance two main arguments. First, as ethno-nationalism progresses in the world, leaving some citizens inside and outside who and what constitutes “the nation”, language, culture, and our very senses are laced with connotational meanings set by hegemonic identities of the state. Furthermore, these meanings set discursive boundaries within which marginalized communities may negotiate and perform their national belonging. Second, although marginalized minority communities are legally and socio-culturally excluded from the nation, they vie for recognition and belonging using nationally sanctioned violence as a primary discursive anchor. I demonstrate that, in an attempt for national inclusion, Druze perform violence in highly sensorial and localized ways that incorporate portions of their Arab identity. This dissertation discusses performativity of violence and the contradictory results it produces for minorities who use state violence to physically and culturally distance themselves from other minorities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gilley, Brian J.
Commitee: Graber, Kathryn E., McDonald, David A., Khazzoom, Aziza
School: Indiana University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Middle Eastern Studies, Judaic studies
Keywords: Druze, Israel, Tourism, Violence
Publication Number: 28022098
ISBN: 9798662493759
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