chapter  3
21 Pages

Making Uncertain Manhood: Masculinities, Embodiment and Agency among Male Hamas Youth

WithMaria Frederika Malmström

This chapter discusses in relation to young male Hamas members and the appeal of becoming soldiers in the context of the Hamas involvement in the Palestinian-Israeli struggle. It explores constructions of masculinities in a complex interplay of violence, political Islam, suffering and loss. Hamas is particularly interesting because of its unique positioning as a legal, democratic, legitimate political actor, and as a social association. The understanding of the Palestinian male body is manifested in local discourses of manhood. It suggests and signifies, among other things as mentioned earlier, generosity, fearlessness and self-control. The chapter shows that the male Palestinian body is both agential and victimised it does not always cope with the inscription of bodily violence and social expectations of manhood. The production and reproduction of discourses of violence and agency in relation to moral masculinities must be understood against the backdrop of the global War on Terror and post-colonial politics that may also transform ideals of gender.