Innocent girls, wicked women: interfaith marriages, class, and ethnicity in Israel

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This paper examines how the state apparatus classifies who are the citizens to be symbolically included in the collective, and who are to be excluded by analysing interfaith marriages in the Israeli context, where ethno-national identity is society’s main category organizer. I argue that the women’s social-economic standing (working-class versus middle-class) and ethnic origin (Mizrahi Jews of Middle Eastern and North African ancestry versus Ashkenazi Jews of European ancestry) play an important role not only in their strategies but in the nationalist rhetoric against them. The paper also shows how interfaith marriages, although rather rare in Israel, determine that ethno-national boundaries are more permeable than they are first appear, although crossing and shifting them is never simple. Yet the importance of this phenomenon is not in its prevalence, but in its social and political impact.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number15
Pages (from-to)3380-3401
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 391162716