The Sacred and the Profane: the Differential Organization of Social Spheres between Liberal Elites and Lower Class Mizrahim in Israel View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2022-09-22

AUTHORS

Shlomo Fischer

ABSTRACT

This article addresses an Israeli sociological riddle: Working class Israeli Jews of Middle Eastern and North African origin have good and empathetic relations with Arab co-workers and fellow students in work and school spaces while affirming, right wing, ethno-centric political attitudes and behaviors that tend to deny Arabs and Palestinians political and even civil rights (often offensively). The article explores the fact that both sociologists and liberal activists note this behaviour but tend to treat it as an anomaly without attempting to explain it. The article argues that both functionalist and critical sociologists tend to treat Mizrahim in an essentialist manner which does not allow for differentiation in their behaviour. The second part of the article suggests that lower class Mizrahim possess a radically different cosmology than liberal elites. The cosmology of traditional Mizrahim is that of “ritual” (Seligman et al., 2008) which posits a disjunction between spheres of social interaction especially between the “sacred” and “profane” spheres. The cosmology of the liberal elites is that of totalizing utopian social ordering which demands that all the spheres of interaction be organized according to the same principles. According to the Mizrahi cosmology, the spheres of work and school are “profane” and hence they can allow relations of friendship and empathy based upon joint work and fellowship. In the sacred spheres of politics and the family, relations with Arabs often are expressed in ritual contexts which emphasize subjunctive, ideal states of Jewish purity and victoriousness. More... »

PAGES

1-23

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s12108-022-09543-2

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12108-022-09543-2

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1151224544


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