Driven by fear? Commuting and Fear of Terrorism in the West Bank
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6. Mobility along Socio-cultural Borders: Brisk-walking in Bedouin Towns
Arnon Ben- Israel
Kaye Academic College
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Substantial changes in contemporary Bedouin society are reflected in the rise of 'affluence morbidities' which suggest that there is an increasing need to engage in physical activity. Brisk-walking, recently practiced by several dozen residents in the Bedouin towns of Hura and Tel-Sheva reflects the adoption of a new lifestyle that has generated tension when practiced in the public sphere. Based on the qualitative methodology of in-depth interviews and walking participation events, this paper presents both the pioneering brisk-walker's experience and the tensions that have arisen between this activity and the cultural, behavioral and performance constraints that shape Bedouin current urbanity. Taking a space and place approach, the 'legitimate spaces' of brisk-walking are outlined vis-a-vis gender, tribal affiliation, inter-group relationships and the meanings of the preferred type of space for brisk-walking– within the town, in its outlying spaces or in the neighboring Jewish suburbs. In understanding leisure walking spaces as a field of socio-cultural and spatial negotiation within the context of mobile/immobile spaces, the manner in which this unique and complex mobility experience affects walker's sense of place is interpreted.
Key words: Bedouin, brisk-walking, socio-cultural borders, urbanity, constructing mobile third-place, borrowing space.
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