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Concrete Boxes: The Multiple Marginalizations of Mizrahi Women in Israel

Pnina Motzafi-Haller

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In the first event of the UCLA Nazarian Center's "Women on the Margins in Israel" lecture series, Professor Motzafi-Haller will discuss how Mizrahi women in Israel face cultural, political, and economic exclusions that make for a “concrete box” rather than a “glass ceiling” from which many of these women struggle to break free from.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Pacific Time)
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After registering, you will be emailed a meeting link and ID information to join us virtually via Zoom on your computer, tablet or smartphone, or to call into the event on your phone. If you do not receive your email confirmation, check your spam or junk mail folders.

Note: This live event will be recorded and posted online afterward for later viewing on the Y&S Nazarian Center's multimedia page.

This event is organized by the UCLA Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies.

About the Book & Talk

In this talk, Professor Motzafi-Haller will speak about her work on the Israeli periphery and how Mizrahi women in the periphery experience multiplied marginalization. Professor Motzafi-Haller will explore how her ethnographic work, particularly her methodology of using essays to speak about processes of resistance to inequality, marginality, and intersectionality, can inform our understanding of the intersectionality faced by Mizrahi women in Israel’s periphery. She will then demonstrate how the multiple exclusions Mizrahi women face create what she terms a “concrete box,” which, unlike the “glass ceiling” of the liberal feminist discourse, is multi-dimensional and more challenging to break free from. Concrete Boxes: The Multiple Marginalizations of Mizrahi Women in Israel can be purchased by clicking here.



 About the Speakers

Pnina Motzafi-Haller is a Professor of Anthropology from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. She received her Ph.D. based on ethnographic research conducted in Botswana from Brandeis University in 1988. Since 1995, Professor Motzafi-Haller's work has been focused on Israeli society, exploring patterns of ethnic, class, and gender inequality. Her latest book Concrete Boxes: Mizrahi Women on Israel's Periphery, examines the patterns of inequality known as intersectionality experienced by Mizrahi women in Israel's periphery. Placing the stories of five women at the center, Professor Motzafi-Haller pushes the new methodology of using essays to speak about processes of resistance to inequality, marginality, and intersectionality. The book has been widely received in Israel and turned into a play that ran in theaters across Israel for two years and exposed large audiences to the multiple marginalities experienced by Mizrahi women. Professor Motzafi-Haller is currently a visiting professor at NYU, working on a new book titled Blonde Hair Dark Roots.



Dr. Tamar Hofnung (moderator) is a political sociologist specializing in the politics shaping gender and racial equality policies in Israel and the United States. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science with a specialization in Human Rights from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has conducted her postdoctoral studies as a Rothschild fellow at UC Berkeley’s Department of Sociology. She is currently a teaching and research fellow at the Y&S Nazarian center for Israel studies, working on affirmative action, and violence against women policies in Israel and the United States. Her most current research project examines the impact of unsystematic data gathering — and the lack of evaluation guidelines — on policymaking related to diversity and discrimination in Israel.




DISCLAIMER: The views or opinions of our guest speakers and the content of their presentations do not necessarily reflect the views of the UCLA Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies. Hosting speakers does not constitute an endorsement of the speaker's views or opinions.


Sponsor(s): Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies