The representation of the Negev in the public discourse in Israel : from the conquest of the desert to sustainable development

Abstract : The Negev desert occupies most of the territory of the State of Israel, having a strategic importance for the existence of the "center" and at the same time it is considered as a natural wild “periphery”. This region has a symbolic value with different charges, positive and negative. It is considered as a spiritual space where the Hebrew people were constituted, but it is also associated with the exile which threatens the continuation of the nation existence. Since the 1920s, there was a tendency to "conquer" the desert and "flourish" it. Nevertheless, since the 1980s, the tendency is to develop it according to ecological values, while preserving its natural character. The research is situated in the field of ecocriticism, which examines the relationship between man and his environment in the postcolonial era. It is in this framework that the impact of hierarchical oppositions, including culture versus nature, development versus conservation and center versus periphery, are being studied. The representations of the desert in the public discourse are examined in the light of these oppositions, since the 1940s to the present, through texts analysis of: the media (press, television and internet); development programs established by the State; and Hebrew literature. The study shows how as a result of the decline in the status of collectivism in Israeli society, as part of globalization processes, increases the ability of social groups to influence the construction of spatial identity of the Negev desert.
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Ilanit Derimian. The representation of the Negev in the public discourse in Israel : from the conquest of the desert to sustainable development. Sociology. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2014. Hebrew. ⟨NNT : 2014LIL30014⟩. ⟨tel-01146296⟩

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