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Narrative and the Politics of IdentityThe Cultural Psychology of Israeli and Palestinian Youth$
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Phillip L. Hammack

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195394467

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195394467.001.0001

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“Jewish in My Blood”: Stories of Jewish-Israeli Youth

“Jewish in My Blood”: Stories of Jewish-Israeli Youth

(p.115) 3 “Jewish in My Blood”: Stories of Jewish-Israeli Youth
Narrative and the Politics of Identity

Phillip L. Hammack

Oxford University Press

The first research question that guided this study was concerned with the relationship of the “big” stories that circulate in a society and the “small” stories of a personal narrative of identity. Chapter 1 argued that this research question fundamentally speaks to the cultural psychology of identity, as it provides us with a framework for understanding the way in which identity is simultaneously a product and a producer of the discourse that defines “culture.” In other words, the personal narrative represents a textual mediator of cultural reproduction, as it is through individual life stories that reflect a particular master narrative that the discursive conditions of culture are enacted and reproduced. This chapter applies this theoretical focus on the role of individuals in the maintenance and reproduction of culture to the context of conflict and to the life stories of young Jewish Israelis. It presents the portraits of four youths to illustrate the complex process of identity construction that contemporary Jewish–Israeli youth undergo, along with some of the discursive challenges provided by the context of conflict and its inevitable sense of existential insecurity.

Keywords:   Jews, Israelis, youth, cultural psychology, conflict, identity

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