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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

Prostitutes, Homemakers, and CEOs: Israel and the Concept of Universal Women’s Experiences (3 cr)
Aziza Khazzoom
JSTU-J 304 Social & Historical Topics in Jewish Studies (31932) / NELC-N 304 Issues in Middle Eastern Culture & Society (31262)
TR 9:30-10:45 am (SY 0008)

Meets with NELC-N 695

Any investigation of gender in a society, Israel or elsewhere, must deal with a central theoretical question: to what degree can we assume a universal category “woman”, around which this investigation can center? How do some common themes, like sexual victimization, the second shift, or motherhood, unfold differently for different groups of women – including Israeli women as a group and subgroups within Israel? Are differences large enough that concepts like “women’s experiences” or “gender inequality” are rendered meaningless, and, if so, then what analytical tools are left for understanding gender? This course is divided into two parts. The first considers the classics of feminist thought about difference, which were often produced outside of Israel. Then, armed with these tools, the second part of the course moves to Israel and its environs, and asks how gender plays out in the lives of different groups of women there.