Abstract / Description of output
This article explores the meanings and implications of the 'ordinary' in the midst of political violence. Alongside the spectacular acts of violence that have dominated the newspaper headlines, for most Palestinians the second intifada has also been marked by boredom and frustration. In the recent growth of the ethnography of armed conflict, there has been a danger of over-determining violence, ignoring the mundane nature of most political conflicts. This article therefore turns the recent ethnographic approach to political conflict on its head and focuses on the apparently mundane. In doing so, the article argues that for West Bank Palestinians, a sense of the ordinary is rooted in the obligations of kinship, and moves constantly between the 'is' and the 'ought', the mundane and the frightening, and the active and the passive. It is this movement that gives the 'ordinary' such purchase, as it allows concrete experiences to be linked to distant aspirations.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- the ordinary
- Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- second intifada