Unsettled BelongingEducating Palestinian American Youth after 9/11

Unsettled BelongingEducating Palestinian American Youth after 9/11

Thea Renda Abu El-Haj

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780226289328

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

Unsettled belonging is an ethnographic study that focuses on how young Palestinian Americans navigated and constructed belonging and citizenship across transnational fields; and it examines their encounters with an exclusionary politics of belonging that emerged from the routine practices of everyday U.S. nationalism inside their schools, in the post 9-11 decade. At the heart of this book rests a question about disjunctures of modern citizenship. Taking an anthropological perspective on citizenship as lived experiences through which people negotiate social, cultural, and political membership, the book analyzes a fundamental schism between the ways the Palestinian American youth experienced and constructed transnational citizenship and belonging, and the ways they were positioned as outsiders to the nation. Exploring the complex, flexible ways that the Palestinian American youth navigated belonging in transnational fields, the book shifts attention from a focus on youth identities to an account of how these social identities are intimately bound up with questions of belonging and citizenship. The book also deepens our understandings of the processes through which immigrant youth are racialized in the United States, focusing on the specific logics of everyday nationalism--nationalism that is bound up with this country’s contemporary imperial projects. Finally, the book raises normative questions about educating for national citizenship in contemporary times when more and more people’s lives are shaped within transnational social fields.