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Faculty Publication: Professor of Social Work Cindy Sousa

September 5, 2023
Cindy Sousa

Critical Consciousness from a Palestinian Feminist, Decolonial Perspective: A Collective Exploratory Inquiry

Author: Federica Cavazzoni, Guido Veronese, Cindy Sousa, Haneen Ayoub, and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian

Source: Feminism and Psychology, DOI: 10.1177/09593535231181760, July 2023

Publication Type: Article

Abstract: To date, many studies have documented the devastating impact of the Israeli military occupation in Palestine, which deprives Palestinians of all basic and human rights. Yet, the interlocking oppressions that characterize the Israeli occupation—as those of other colonial systems—are mostly overlooked, with little attention being devoted in mainstream literature to the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality within the colonial project. With a perspective informed by intersectional feminist studies, decolonial approaches, and liberation psychology, we explored how women in Palestine resist and struggle against the colonial and patriarchal powers present in their lives and, in particular, the role of feminist critical consciousness in this process. Through 21 research-discussions with Palestinian and international but Palestine-experienced feminist activists and researchers, we explored how the concept of critical consciousness (CC) was perceived and encountered within their experiences in the Palestinian context. CC was explored in its two dimensions (critical reflection and critical action), and its liberating power was discussed. This study contributes to a growing body of literature on the relationship between CC and resistance, and their shared impacts on women's liberation and well-being within contexts of settler-colonialism. Implications for research, policies, and clinical practices are discussed.

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