Recent years have seen the Israeli state investing considerable efforts in the alleviation of unprecedentedly high inter-regional inequalities. Improved transportation networks intended to better connect peripheral residents to centrally located opportunities have been at the heart of this policy known as ‘periphery cancellation’. In this article, we study strategies deployed by young peripherals as they engage with the statist call for enhanced mobility between regions. Drawing on qualitative research conducted at ‘A Center for the Young’ in a small town in the predominantly rural Upper Galilee, we examine the extent to which young adults negotiate the recent state-led mobility turn. Taking a critical nobilities approach, we argue that statist aspirations of mobilizing peripherals to central hubs collide with socio-spatial constraints faced by many young residents. The official call for mobility is frequently met by a sense of spatial (im)mobility articulated by young agents who deploy instead alternative strategies to achieve socio-spatial mobility. Termed refusal, circulation, and refuge, these strategies draw on notions of peripheral stagnation, attributed to both state policies that have long marginalized the area as well as rooted conventions about the social and cultural inertia of peripheral residents. These strategies, we contend, widen existing inequalities between central haves and peripheral have nots while solidifying a sense of socio-spatial disenfranchisement among many of its young inhabitants.
|Translated title of the contribution||Refusal, circulation, refuge: young (im) mobilities in rural Israel|
|Number of pages||22|
|Journal||Social and Cultural Geography|
|State||Published - 24 Jul 2019|
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