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Zakia Belhachmi

From a rationale of multiculturalism and a based on systemic approach grounded in the Arab-Islamic tradition, this book integrates history, education, science, and feminism to understand the implications of culture in social change, cultural identity, and cultural exchange. Dr. Belhachmi’s praxis maintains the relationship between socio-political movements, and their corollary scientific movements to explain women’s role in social change of the Arab-Islamic world; thus linking the region’s past and the present in a historical continuum. In one masterful move, she immediately engages into a discovery -journey of the 13 century old Arab-Islamic socio-cultural and intellectual history; thus exploring the independent Arab-Islamic Worldview of development, modernism, science, education, and discusses the corollary socio-political and reform movements that integrated women in the region’s governance over time. Thus, she not only highlights women’s involvement in social change as a recurrent cyclical phenomenon in the region, but also chronicles the women-led independent 120 years of Arab-Islamic feminist science.
Above all, Dr. Belhachmi offers an innovative operational three-levelled model of analysis of education and feminist practice that reconciles particularism and universalism, and yields to systemic analyses of women in education cross-culturally. In doing so, the book shifts focus from the “woman’s question” into the more radical issues of “women’s science” in the Arab-Islamic culture; illustrating with the work of al-Sa'dawi (Egypt) and Mernissi (Morocco). As such this study is both a groundbreaking epistemological study on the role Arab-Muslim women and social change over time, and an essential textbook on women in contemporary Arab-Islamic education, and social sciences.
In a tour de force, Dr. Belhachmi reclaims Arab-Islamic feminist scientific legacy as organic to the region’s institutional memory and its collective cultural reference, while restoring to Arab-Muslim women feminists; including herself, their epistemic space within the contemporary multi-discursive practice/space of international feminism.; thus offering us a timely pioneering book on Arab-Islamic feminist epistemology. Equally, she provides us with a new scientific framework for self-representation and cultural exchange much needed both in international education and “a new feminist international order.”
In brief, this is an original scholarly work that provides us with creative empowerment methods, qualitative methodologies and holistic conceptual tools; thus enabling us to re-think our “rapport to knowledge” and the place of knowledge itself and how its related research strategies can move us beyond the pitfalls of cultural relativism and scientism. As such, this is an invaluable addition to the literature on the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) that will benefit the layman tremendously; and a must reference for specialists and students alike.

Harry Potter

Feminist Friend or Foe?

Series:

Ruthann Mayes-Elma

Since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone came out in the United States in 1997; it and the six subsequent volumes have been on the New York Times bestsellers list continuously. Harry Potter no longer solely exists in books; he is everywhere dominating our world and our children’s worlds, which is why it is important to analyze just what Harry Potter is teaching our children. Although the Harry Potter series has been critiqued and analyzed by journalists and academics alike, there are fascinating gaps in the analyses. Perhaps the most rousing of these gaps is the virtual lack of attention to the ways in which J. K. Rowling has constructed gender, and the agency of the female characters, within the texts. The purpose of this book is to address this rousing gap, by critically deconstructing the representation of women’s agency by the female characters in the Harry Potter books 2-6. The study draws on all of the pre-existing theories, frameworks, underpinnings and themes that came out of the analysis that were set forth in the pilot study/first book that critically deconstructed the first Harry Potter book. There are many different books that discuss the Harry Potter phenomenon, but rarely do they analyze the books through a social justice lens, specifically looking at gender.

Putting People in the Picture

Visual Methodologies for Social Change

Edited by Naydene de Lange and Jean Stuart

Getting the picture, constructing (and deconstructing) the picture, finding the picture, viewing the picture, being in the picture, changing the pictures—these are all phrases that apply to the fascinating world of ‘putting people in the picture’ in visual research within the Social Sciences. Putting People in the Picture: Visual Methodologies for Social Change focuses on the ways in which researchers, practitioners and activists are using such techniques as photo voice, collaborative video, drawings and other visual and arts-based tools as modes of inquiry, as modes of representation and as modes of disseminating findings in social research. The various chapters address methodological, analytical, interpretive, aesthetic, technical and ethical concerns in using visual methodologies in work with young people, teachers, community health care workers—and even the self-as-researcher. The range of issues addressed in the work is broad, and includes work in the areas of HIV & AIDS, schooling, poverty, gender violence, race, and children’s visions for the future. While the studies are situated within a variety of social contexts, the focus is primarily on work in Southern Africa. The book takes up some of the theoretical and practical challenges offered by Visual Sociology, Image-based Research, Media Studies, Rural Development, and Community-based and Participatory Research, and in so doing offers audiences an array of visual approaches to studying and bringing about social change.

Radicals in Spite of Themselves

Ultra-Orthodox Women Working Outside the Haredi Community

Devorah Kalekin-Fishman and Karlheinz Schneider

In this book Devorah Kalekin-Fisman and Karlheinz Schneider analyze how the relationship between the traditional and the modern is unfolding in a particular milieu by centering on the Haredi women in Israel who become part of the national (rather than the community) work force. The book is based on analyses of interviews with people in the Haredi world. The authors’ goal is to attain an understanding of what women’s work means to the women, to their families, and to the Haredi community as a whole, by placing women’s self-presentations in the context of sociological literatures relating to the sociology of religion and the sociology of gender.
The focal issue is the question of how traditionalism fares when the legitimator / monitor of tradition in the home encounters the constraints of modernity through her studies and her work.

Women Principals in a Multicultural Society

New Insights into Feminist Educational Leadership

Edited by Izhar Oplatka and Rachel Hertz-Lazarowitz

The book analyzes the crossing issues of gender, school leadership and multicultural experiences as expressed in accounts of female school principals from diverse ethnic and religious groups in the multicultural society of Israel. It addresses the usually unheard voices of women principals in ethnic and religious minority groups that act and live in a modern country but their place is marginalized. Jewish and Moslem Authors, all citizens of Israel, display the particular life and career accounts of female principals from the Arab, Bedouin, Kibbutzim, liberal and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups. They are accompanied by authors from Canada, Hong-Kong and England who suggest a multicultural and post-structuralist feminist views to look at female leadership in the multicultural society. In this sense, they book contributes to our understanding of the influence of cultural scripts and values on women principals’ leadership styles and career development, as well as suggest an alternative way to interpret dominant feminist conceptualizations of female leadership. The book may be of interest for researchers in the fields of education, feminism, women management, multiculturalism, Israel studies and minorities. Educators of a higher level such as principals, supervisors and policy makers as well as graduate students will find the book chapters very contributing to their work and studies.