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Neoliberal visions? Exploring gendered media and popular culture in the Palestinian West Bank

Withers, Polly ORCID: 0000-0002-5892-3305, Hammami, Rema, Jawad, Rania and Silmi, Amirah (2023) Neoliberal visions? Exploring gendered media and popular culture in the Palestinian West Bank. LSE Middle East Centre Paper Series (79). LSE Middle East Centre, London, UK.

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Walking through Ramallah, it is hard not to notice the commercial advertising billboards, TV screens, and posters that line the city’s streets. They frequently feature bright glossy images of young nuclear families – always a man and a woman, often with light skin – gazing longingly at ‘dream’ homes. These materials document how capital and aspiration are increasingly enfolded into everyday space in post-Oslo Palestine. They particularly show how neoliberal ‘reforms’ have transformed Palestine’s political economy over (at least) the past 30 years. Indeed, Ramallah today embodies the complexities wrought by the Oslo process more than any other space in Palestine: its inhabitants paradoxically live under a colonial present shaped by neoliberal capitalism. While recent works consider how such shifts reformulate the political economy of occupied Palestine, and/or reroute the struggle for national liberation, rarely are the cultural practices and media forms that mark, embody and communicate such political and economic changes centralised as sites of meaning-making. Even less forthcoming is work that explores how such representations cultivate shifts in gender and sexuality norms. This project offers a different interpretation of the West Bank’s neoliberal order that moves beyond these traditional theoretical straightjackets. Using textual and qualitative methods, it foregrounds both the production and consumption of gendered advertisements as a way to explore how neoliberal culture constructs gendered subjectivity. It broadly asks how transforming forms of political economy, social relations and cultural practices relate to changing modes of gendered subjectivity in contemporary Palestine.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2023 12:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:32

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