"Space, Identity and Power Relations in Jerusalem: An Investigation Using Mental Maps and GPS"
The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between space and identity by examining the spatial practices of women in Jerusalem. Specific issues to be examined are the relationship between perceived territorial boundaries of Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian women residents of Jerusalem (as they are expressed in mental maps) and their everyday behavior, the perceptions of joint spaces serving people from the various ethno-cultural groups and understanding the factors affecting the accessibility of the women to different areas in the city. The study will also address issues related to the impact of daily life (especially the deviations of the subjects from their cultural territory) on the construction of personal identity and collective identity.
The research is based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including: questionnaires, mental maps, in-depth interviews and tracking technologies. The sample of this research includes 180 residents of Jerusalem (60 Jewish-Ultra-orthodox, 60 Jewish-Secular and 60 Palestinian-Muslims). The women from this sample (90) will be interviewed and receive a GPS receiver which will record information regarding their movements for a week.
The research aspires to contribute a theoretical conceptualization regarding territorialisation, interaction and segregation patterns in a polarized city. In addition, the study will explore the relationship between identity and space by examining the processes of personal and social identity formation in relation to spatial behavioral patterns. Another contribution is the development of methodologies that explore the link between perception and activity space. The fourth component of the contribution of this study is in planning and policy – understanding the ways the city is experienced and the "local knowledge" of the residents, can enable the creation of policies and design principles that reflect this knowledge.