Olive growing in Palestine: a decolonial ethnographic study of collective daily-forms- of-resistance

Journal article


Simaan, J. 2017. Olive growing in Palestine: a decolonial ethnographic study of collective daily-forms- of-resistance. Journal of Occupational Science. https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2017.1378119
AuthorsSimaan, J.
Abstract

This article describes a study of the daily lives of Palestinian olive growers living under military occupation. Framed in de-colonial theory and occupational justice concepts, and using critical ethnographic methods, the research explored how land colonisation influences the daily activities relating to olive growing, and how olive-growing families respond to the experience of occupational apartheid through their daily activities and their shared values. In-depth interviews were conducted with four participant-families, and observations were made, in the West Bank, Palestine, during key periods in the olive farming cycle. Family stories and thematic analysis pointed to three themes, which were analysed in relation to Wilcock’s ‘occupational determinants of health’. These themes, identified as Sutra, A’wna, and Sumud, challenge and extend Western-oriented notions of doing-being-becoming-belonging, and illustrate communal Palestinian ways of knowing and resisting. Decolonial ethnographic methods highlight Palestine as a conceptual space illuminating a set of values and means of action that move beyond the individual as the main area of concern, and perceive human communities as a continuation, and in mutual relation to, their environment.

This article provides insights on collective occupations learnt from a global South group, potentially widening occupational science’s and occupational therapy’s understanding of people, their environments and occupations, which may also be useful in other fields of study. More research on collective occupations, using decolonial theory and methods, is needed in different groups within Palestine and other global South societies to substantiate the insights resulting from this research.

Keywordsdecolonial ethnography; collective occupations; occupational consciousness; daily-forms-of-resistance
Year2017
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1442-7591
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/14427591.2017.1378119
Publication dates
Online26 Sep 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited11 Oct 2017
Accepted19 Jun 2017
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Page range1-14
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/885x7/olive-growing-in-palestine-a-decolonial-ethnographic-study-of-collective-daily-forms-of-resistance

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