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Title: We Will Not Be Told Whom to Love: Affection, Religious Courts, and the Struggle for Civil Marriage in Israel
Authors: Wamboldt, Alexander Steven
Advisors: Biehl, João G
Contributors: Anthropology Department
Keywords: Divorce
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
Judaic studies
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: An estimated 360,000 individuals reside in Israel in some form of common-law marriage, which include same-sex, interfaith, and bi-national relationships, in addition to non-Jewish marriages performed abroad and domestically-performed weddings that are not legitimized through state authorities. Based on eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, this work explores how these individuals demand new rights to kinship that challenge the religious basis of the Israeli court system and their own political subjectivities as Israeli Jews. Given the uniqueness of Israel’s majority secular population governed by Orthodox religious legal norms, this ethnography questions the assumed universalism of heterosexuality globally by revealing the complicated affective relationships of non-recognized couples to the state, to the Jewish discursive tradition, and to time itself within Israel today. These disparities between Israeli secular social norms for kinship and state-rabbinic legal definitions of marriage reveal underlying tensions in the Israeli nation-state project, asking empirically what it means for Israel to be a Jewish state and for whom.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Anthropology

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