Books Published by Faculty
Sociological Theory for Digital Society: The Codes that Bind Us TogetherYear2021Abstract
The digital revolution has not only transformed multiple aspects of social life – it also shakes sociological theory, transforming the most basic assumptions that have underlain it. In this timely book, Ori Schwarz explores the main challenges digitalization poses to different strands of sociological theory and offers paths to adapt them to new social realities.
What would symbolic interactionism look like in a world where interaction no longer takes place within bounded situations and is constantly documented as durable digital objects? How should we understand new digitally mediated forms of human association that bind our actions and lives together but have little in common with old-time 'collectives'; and why are they not simply ‘social networks’? How does social capital transform when it is materialized in a digital form, and how does it remould power structures? What happens to our conceptualization of power when faced with the emergence of new forms of algorithmic power? And what happens when labour departs from work? By posing and answering such fascinating questions, and offering critical tools for both students and scholars of social theory and digital society to engage with them, this thought-provoking book draws the outline of future sociological theory for our digital society.
ENCOUNTERS AROUND THE TEXT An Ethnography of JudaismsPublisherPardes publishing & University of HaifaYear2020Abstract
Recipient of the Bahat Publication Grant 2017
This book examines “Jewish textuality”—the reference to religious texts and the symbolic meanings attributed to them their—in five different arenas of contemporary Jewish culture. Fieldwork was carried out in several communities and in social encounters involving sessions of study, prayer, healing, communal performance and bonding—all of which require the use of written religious texts. These textual encounters, which often involve debate, argumentation, and counter-argumentation are instrumental in the creation, renewal and maintenance of contemporary Jewish culture. The five study communities included in the study are: a kollel operating in an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva of the Lithuanian sector; a secular yeshiva; a Sephardic kabbalistic yeshiva; a Beit Midrash for Storytellers, operating as part of a pluralistic beit midrash; and the Toldos Aharon chassidus. These communities are rooted in diverse cultural, social and political contexts, and thus offer a glance into the multicultural spectrum of Jewish life in Israel.
The Theatrical Spectaculum An Anthropological TheoryPublisherPalgrave MacmillanYear2020Abstract
This book offers a new mythic perspective on the secret of the allure and survival of a current-archaic institution—the Western theatre—in an era of diverse technological media. Central to the theory is the spectaculum—a stage “world” that mirrors a monotheistic cosmic order.
Tova Gamliel here not only alerts the reader to the possibility of the spectaculum’s existence, but also illuminates its various structural dimensions: the cosmological, ritual, and sociological. Its cosmo-logical meaning is a Judeo-Christian monotheistic consciousness of non-randomness, an exemplary order of the world that the senses perceive. The ritual meaning denotes the centrality of the spectaculum, as the theatre repeatedly reenacts the mythical and paradigmatic event of Biblical revelation. Its social meaning concerns any charismatic social theory that is anchored in the epitomic structure of social sovereignty—stage and audience—that the Western theatre advances in an era characterized by hypermedia.
Inward: Vipassana Meditation and the Embodiment of the SelfPublisherThe University of Chicago PressYear2019Abstract
Western society has never been more interested in interiority. Indeed, it seems more and more people are deliberately looking inward—toward the mind, the body, or both. Michal Pagis’s Inward focuses on one increasingly popular channel for the introverted gaze: vipassana meditation, which has spread from Burma to over forty countries and counting. Lacing her account with vivid anecdotes and personal stories, Pagis turns our attention not only to the practice of vipassana but to the communities that have sprung up around it. Inward is also a social history of the westward diffusion of Eastern religious practices spurred on by the lingering effects of the British colonial presence in India. At the same time Pagis asks knotty questions about what happens when we continually turn inward, as she investigates the complex relations between physical selves, emotional selves, and our larger social worlds. Her book sheds new light on evergreen topics such as globalization, social psychology, and the place of the human body in the enduring process of self-awareness.
Organization Development and Society: Theory and Practice of Organization Development ConsultingPublisherRoutledgeYear2019Abstract
Organization Development and Society: Theory and Practice of Organization Development Consulting offers a new approach for the practice of organization development (OD). The new approach, a habitus oriented OD (HOOD), sees consultees' thinking and behavior a result of habitus, a cognitive structure developed historically in endless interactions between human behavior and social structures. HOOD has two goals:
The first goal is to redefine the objectives of individually oriented OD. The focus on habitus and social structure allows individually oriented OD scholars and practitioners to keep their subjective approach, which searches for consultees' inner world. However, this subjectivity searches not only for consultees' psychological but their social dispositions. It views the individual level, the habitus, as a site of social dispositions that from within the individual consultees generate thoughts and behaviors in a way that closely corresponds with the organization's social structure; with power relations and social positions and with accepted metaphors and common language. The HOOD links the concept of habitus to the field of OD and in so doing provides an alternative way to incorporate the individual and the social in OD.
HOOD's second goal is to re/position OD between organizations and society and thus to produce a consulting practice that is both pragmatic and human. It is pragmatic since incorporation of habitus enables the consultant to liberate consultees' perspectives and behavior from the organization's social and structural hoops and to use these perspectives in processes of change and development. Considering the habitus as central to consulting projects is human since it enables consultants (and consultees) to identify the responsibility for organizational problems (and other phenomena) not only at the level of the individual but also at the level of the organization and the environment outside the organization.
מגדר בבסיס: נשים וגברים בשירות הצבאיPublisherמכון ון-ליר בירושלים והקיבוץ המאוחדYear2018Abstract
מדיניות הצבא בישראל ביחס לנשים השתנתה מאוד בשני העשורים האחרונים והיא מאותגרת מכיוונים שונים. בשנת 2017, למשל, שיעור הנשים שהתנדבו לתפקידי לחימה היה הגבוה ביותר מזה שנים, אולם בה בעת פתיחת תפקידים קרביים בפני נשים וביטול ההפרדות המגדריות בקורסים צבאיים מעוררים התנגדות קשה בתוך הצבא ומחוץ לו. המשטר המגדרי של הצבא אינו עוד מבנה אחיד וקוהרנטי כפי שהיה בעבר. זהו שדה דינמי הפועל בהשפעתם של כוחות מנוגדים והוא משליך לא רק על נשים אלא גם על גברים ועל תפיסות של גבריות בצבא.
לפיכך, ההנחה ביסודו של הספר היא כי הצבא הוא ארגון הטרוגני שיש בו מופעים שונים של שוויון ואי-שוויון מגדרי בזירות שונות והוא מנהל יחסים רבי פנים עם החברה האזרחית. המאמרים באסופה זו אינם מתייחסים עוד לגברים ולנשים כאל קטגוריות חברתיות אחידות, אלא בוחנים את משמעותו של השירות הצבאי עבור קבוצות שונות המשרתות בתפקידים שונים. הם עוסקים במופעים הגלויים והסמויים של אי-השוויון המגדרי בצבא, בוחנים את המפגש בין מגדר, מעמד, אתניות ודת בארגון הצבאי, ומציגים את האפשרות להתמקח עם הארגון הצבאי ואף להתנגד לו.
השינויים הארגוניים שחלו בצבא הישראלי והפרספקטיבות התיאורטיות שהתרחבו במרוצת הזמן הביאו להתפתחותו של שדה מחקר תוסס ואינטנסיבי שעניינו צבא ומגדר בישראל. ואולם לראשונה בספר זה, נאספים יחד כותבים בולטים בתחום, חוקרות וחוקרים מתחומי ידע שונים – סוציולוגיה, אנתרופולוגיה, מדע המדינה, לימודי מגדר, לימודי תרבות, קולנוע וספרות. האסופה פורשת מגוון רחב של מאמרים המאורגנים סביב ארבעה נושאים הבונים את שערי הספר: זהויות צבאיות; המדיניות המגדרית בצבא; היחסים בין צבא למשפחה; והתנגדות למלחמה ולכיבוש בישראל כיום.
רשימת הכותבים באסופה: שרית עמרם-כץ, תאיר קרזי-פרסלר, חוה ברונפלד-שטיין, דנה גרוסוירט קחטן, אריקה וייס, יגיל לוי, זאב לרר, רעיה מורג, מיטל עירן-יונה, קרן פרידמן-פלג, מירב פרץ, ניצן רותם, רות אבלין-רווה
Women Soldiers and Citizenship in Israel: Gendered Encounters with the StatePublisherNew York and London: RoutledgeYear2018Abstract
Women’s military service in Israel presents a compelling case study to explore the meaning of gendered citizenship. The authors argue that women’s mandatory military service during an active ongoing violent conflict, occurring at a formative age, becomes an initiation process into gendered citizenship, where the women learn their marginal place vis-à-vis the state. Based on over 120 interviews and testimonies with young women from varied social backgrounds, the authors ask: How do young women soldiers manage their expectations vis-à-vis the hyper masculine military institution? How do women experience their gendered citizenship as daily embodied and emotional practices in different military roles? How do women soldiers understand and cope with daily sexual harassment? And finally, how do women cope with the gendered silencing mechanisms of the violence of war and occupation, and what can women soldiers know about this violence when they choose to speak out?
The book offers a new conceptualization of citizenship as gendered encounters with the state. These encounters can be analyzed through three interrelated concepts: Multi-level contracts; Contrasting gendered experiences; Dis/acknowledging the military’s (external and internal) violence. Applying these three thought-provoking concepts, the authors depict the intricate, non-deterministic relationships between citizenship, military service and multiple gendered experiences.
THE NATION AND THE PROMISE OF FRIENDSHIP: Building Solidarity through SociabilityPublisherPalgrave MacmillanYear2018Abstract
When strangers meet in social clubs, watch reality television, or interact on Facebook, they contribute to the social glue of mass society—not because they promote civic engagement or democracy, but because they enact the sacred promise of friendship. Where most theories of nationalism focus on issues of collective identity, Kaplan’s novel framework turns attention to compatriots’ experience of solidarity and how it builds on interpersonal ties and performances of public intimacy. Combining critical analyses of contemporary theories of nationalism, civil society, and politics of friendship with in-depth empirical case studies of social club sociability, Kaplan ultimately shows that strangers-turned-friends acquire symbolic, male-centered meaning and generate feelings of national solidarity.
“As Danny Kaplan shows in this important book, the centrality of sociability and solidarity to the life of modern nations is a crucial dimension in how nations figure in both politics and public life. Moreover, the ways nations figure in personal life shapes both their power and how nationalists mobilize followers.” Craig Calhoun, London School of Economics
“A vital contribution for those who believe that nationalism and patriotism grow out of the commitments made in interaction…. Kaplan’s detailed analysis of scenes as diverse as Freemasonry, military friendships, and the show Big Brother demonstrate how friendship is a building block for patriotism and communal affiliation.” Gary Alan Fine, Northwestern University, author of Tiny Publics
Gendering Israel’s Outsourcing: The Erasure of Employees’ Caring SkillsPublisherSpringer-Palgrave McMillanYear2016Abstract
This book presents an institutional ethnography of budgeting processes of commissioning contracts within welfare, education, and health ministries as case studies. With the historical surge in the power position of economic globalization organizations and their impact on public sectors’ withdrawal from the role of primary women’s employers, a gap between care worker employees and public sector administrators with respect to skill recognition has emerged in Israel. The book examines precisely how this gap is produced, enacted, and turned into a force that shapes the experiences of women in service and caring jobs. Increasingly more researchers are interested in the unexpected consequences of outsourcing; this account enters the Israel studies researchers’ debate over the extent to which the neo-liberalization of Israel had restructured its welfare orientation. Exposing the operation of service delivery in the gendering of women’s work may thus be intriguing for those participating in this debate. The analysis of the data presented here enables a portrayal of the negotiating and budgeting processes at work, which in turn sheds light on the salience of deskilling and de-professionalization to women’s disenfranchisement.
Aesthetics of Sorrow: The Wailing Culture of Yemenite Jewish WomenPublisherWayne State University PressYear2014Abstract
The term "wailing culture" includes an array of women’s behaviors and beliefs following the death of a member of their ethnic group and is typical of Jewish life in Yemeni culture. Central to the practice is wailing itself—a special artistic genre that combines speech with sobbing into moving lyrical poetry that explores the meaning of death and loss. In Aesthetics of Sorrow: The Wailing Culture of Yemenite Jewish Women, Tova Gamliel decodes the cultural and psychological meanings of this practice in an ethnography based on her anthropological research among Yemenite Jewish communities in Israel in 2001–2003.
Based on participant-observervation in homes of the bereaved and on twenty-four in-depth interviews with wailing women and men, Gamliel illuminates wailing culture level by level: by the circles in which the activity takes place; the special areas of endeavor that belong to women; and the broad social, historical, and religious context that surrounds these inner circles. She discusses the main themes that define the wailing culture (including the historical origins of women’s wailing generally and of Yemenite Jewish wailing in particular), the traits of wailing as an artistic genre, and the wailer as a symbolic type. She also explores the role of wailing in death rituals, as a therapeutic expertise endowed with unique affective mechanisms, as an erotic performance, as a livelihood, and as an indicator of the Jewish exile. In the end, she considers wailing at the intersection of tradition and modernity and examines the study of wailing as a genuine methodological challenge.
Gamliel brings a sensitive eye to the vanishing practice of wailing, which has been largely unexamined by scholars and may be unfamiliar to many outside of the Middle East. Her interdisciplinary perspective and her focus on a uniquely female immigrant cultural practice will make this study fascinating reading for scholars of anthropology, gender, folklore, psychology, performance, philosophy, and sociology.