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Indiana University Bloomington
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Course Description

VT: Prostitutes, Homemakers, CEOs: Israel, Gender, and Difference (3 cr)
Aziza Khazzoom
JSTU-J 204 Social and Historical Topics in Jewish Studies (47096)
TR 9:25-11:55 (GA 0013)
2nd 8 week course

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.