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Reflexivity and the change in women’s status: the case of Arab Bedouin women in Israel

Zoabi, K. and Fuller, C. ORCID: (2024) Reflexivity and the change in women’s status: the case of Arab Bedouin women in Israel. Cogent Social Science, 10 (1). 2294561. ISSN 2331-1886

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/23311886.2023.2294561


In recent years, there has been a sharp decline in the birth rate among Arab Bedouin women in Israel, despite the traditional prevailing patriarchal norms that advocate for large families. What has been behind this reduced birth rate? To answer this question, we build on the reflexive theory of Beck et al. who referred to the occurrence of increased reflexivity during increases in feelings of uncertainty and instability as a result of social transformation. This paper examines through in-depth interviews the reflexive discourse that Arab Bedouin women engage in regarding social conventions that harm their security, stability, and status and lead to a decrease in the number of children in the family. Theoretically, this paper articulates a new conceptual framework proposing that reflexivity processes on critical social subjects that pose uncertainties and threats to women have the power to lead to desired social changes. Accordingly, the high birth rate is a critical reflexive subject for women, since it poses social, psychological, and economic threats to women. Thus, through reflexivity on the birthrate subject, women apply new social strategies to change their existing social reality, free themselves from the patriarchal social structures and seek mastery over their lives. Due to the women’s reflexivity process, they were able to lead a significant social shift in decreasing their birth rates, one of the dominant patriarchal conventions, achieving better social status and improving their economic and social security, certainty, and stability.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:114916


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