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Trends in Israeli Social Science Research on the National Identity of the Palestinian Citizens of Israel

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The national identity of the Palestinian citizens of Israel has been a focal subject of inquiry by Israeli students (both Jews and Palestinian citizens of Israel) of the Palestinian minority. This articles aims to map this field of knowledge and critically evaluate its epistemologies, ideologies, as well as its affinity to existing power relations. The article reveals the instrumentalization of the concept of identity by mainstream Israeli academics, who employ it not in order to engage in a scholarly inquiry into identity formation, alteration or evolution, but rather to evaluate the effectiveness of state policy vis-à-vis the minority. Given this, a dialogue between the mainstream and non-mainstream academics has not developed. In addition, the article discusses new directions, which could be pursued to advance the research on this topic such as "self-othering", identity as a form of resistance, the articulation of historical consciousness, and the role of naming and counter-naming of places for manipulation or consolidation of identities.


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