A Review of the Anthropological Literature in English on the Palestinian "Ḥamūla" and the Status of Women

  • Celia E. Rothenberg


The following is a survey of the anthropological literature in English on the Palestinian ḥamūla, the extended family or clan, and Palestinian women’s lives in the West Bank. Both areas of the literature are in certain respects problematic; in particular, actors’ agency and women’s experiences are often overlooked. The article concludes by presenting the notion of social geography—a concept which looks at how the geographical location of neighbors, friends, and family, as well as ideas of relatedness, create ties and shape the way women practice and experience social relations. Recognizing the importance of social geography may provide a way of wedding these two areas of the literature and addressing
some of its gaps.