The "mother of All Protests" Meets Israeli Older Persons: When Age and Gender Intersect in Political Protests

Liat Ayalon, Sarit Okun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The Israeli government's announcement of a judicial overhaul has resulted in ongoing protests and strikes starting in early 2023. The present study examines the intersection between age and gender in political protests. Methods: The present qualitative study is based on interviews with 13 men and 17 women over the age of 65 who participated in the protests. We conducted qualitative thematic analysis comparing and contrasting categories within and between interviews, while taking the gender perspective into account. Results: The study highlights patterns of gendered but also older-age protesting practices. Whereas men fought for the sake of past generations, women protested mainly for the sake of their children and grandchildren. In addition, men tended to capitalize on their past achievements as fighters, whereas women emphasized their current achievements as grandmothers. Discussion: Our findings suggest that under some circumstances, even stereotypical devalued attributes (e.g., being a grandmother) can be used as powerful tools to attract supporters and fight for a cause. Older men, on the other hand, tend to hold on to their past achievements as fighters, at the top of the hegemonic hierarchy to ensure their power and status in current protests. To ensure the appeal of political protests, heterogeneity in motives and protesting styles should be acknowledged.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbergbad172
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Ageism
  • Civic participation
  • Intersection
  • Politics
  • Sexism

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