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We initiate a discussion on critical sociology's orientation to its own "other": the criticized other. Offering a rereading of the writings of Michel Foucault and Homi K. Bhabha, we argue that poststructuralist and postcolonial approaches require a change in the culture of critique, laying the foundations for a critical writing stance resting on empathy which is not limited to a "side," or, more precisely, the construction of a "side." Introducing the concept of "empathetic critique," the paper seeks a way of overcoming the paradoxical aspect of Israeli critical discourse which seeks to deconstruct dichotomies and dualistic thinking modes, but which also reaffirms them repeatedly through its own critical practice.



This paper attempts to examine Israeli "critical sociology" by focusing on one case study: the "tracking" argument, according to which educational gaps between ethnic groups in Israel developed largely due to a governmental policy in the state's early years aimed at creating a Mizrahi working class. The paper offers a thorough scrutiny of the critical literature on the subject, while also setting out a detailed economic and educational context of that era. The tracking argument proves empirically ungrounded, severely lacking in its methodology and historical presentation, and demagogic. These failures are explained as resulting from strict adherence to a moral stance that informs the critical sociology of education, and that seems to underlie other critical studies.


Studies show that Israeli students achieve worse than their counterparts in other developed countries. We attempt to explain this finding with reference to fertility. In Israel, fertility rates are very high in relation to developed countries. As a result, Israeli families are relatively large, and class size is high. These two variables have been known to depress students’ scholastic achievement. Using PISA 2000 and PISA 2006 data we show that fertility, as indicated by the size of the young population, explains most of the gap between the scores of Israeli students and the international average. Number of siblings and mean class size mediate the effect of the size of the young population. While studies on achievement usually focus on the education system itself, this study highlights the importance of the demographic context for understanding educational outcomes of Israeli students.




In this micro-sociological-anthropological research I discuss the ethics characterizing the relations of strangers in the public urban space of Israeli daily life. I analyzed more than 1000 instances of identification of strangers, which I recorded in an ethnographic and qualitative manner on shared taxi rides between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem between 2005 and 2009. After a systematic analysis of these ethnographic data, I suggest terming the ethics in the public urban space digesting-ethics, as opposed to the hegemonic perception asserting an indifferent-ethics, which “abstains” and “leaves the stranger alone." This innovative ethical reading implies a predetermined relation that tends to eliminate any experience of the stranger as “other” than the identifier's cultural order.




This paper examines the relations between the recent luxurious residential projects built in Jerusalem and the sensitive, fragile urban fabric, and contemplates the extent to which governance processes actually affect the form and design of these projects. Particularly, this paper addresses two seemingly separate disciplines: the first deals with governance and planning gains, the second with gated communities and their relations with the urban environment. Based on the Jerusalem case study, we raise two claims: first we show that the relations between local government and developers are enslaved by the rationale of capital. Despite municipal government often being the stronger partner, negotiations with builders and developers adopt an economic viewpoint, apply an economic way of thinking, and as a result put price tags on common urban assets. Secondly, we show that the inner-city luxurious building has many similarities to classic gated-community buildings. Recent residential building projects keep inhabitants practically detached from the near environment, while appropriating historical and cultural assets to themselves. These findings are discussed in light of the role played by public institutions in present-day globalizing cities.




This study presents a neo-institutional analysis of Israeli radio music following privatization reforms in the field. The introduction of a US commercial radio format by the Israeli military station and the specialization of Lev Hamedina regional radio in Israeli Mediterranean music built up mimetic pressures across the field to marginalize hardcore Mizrachi songs in favor of light Mizrachi music, which enjoys stylistic flexibility. This new category mediated with other established genres and crystallized under the label “Israeli Mediterranean pop.” This entailed a series of erasures which replaced Arab-Muslim sources with a Mediterranean context. The study underscores how privatization reforms encouraged actors in the field to attain institutional legitimacy by invoking national identity through the systematic erasure of foreign sources.




Football has changed drastically several times in recent centuries. I describe the complex relationships between social class and cultural product, as well as the ways cultural legitimacy is granted, thereby shaping a neutral product as beautiful and worthy. In contrast to Elias’s arguments about the civilization process (1978) and Bourdieu’s arguments about the acquisition of `taste` (1984), I claim that these processes do not necessarily involve social or class distinctions. Over the last 30 years, football in England has become a Western and classical cultural product, following simultaneous processes of civilization and cultural inclusion. Westernization has also been taking place in Israeli football over the last 20 years, reflecting Israel's perception of itself a European nation-state.




על: במלכודת הקו הירוק: מסה פוליטית יהודית / יהודה שנהב

דימיטרי שומסקי

עמודים: 189


על: Yizhak Rabin's Assassination and the Dilemmas of Commemoration / Vered Vitnizky-Seroussi

אפרת בן-זאב

עמודים: 193

על: כוחות מניעים: כביש חוצה ישראל והפרטת תשתיות אזרחיות בישראל / מאת דני רבינוביץ ואיתי ורד

דניאל ממן

עמודים: 197-199


על: בנק ישראל: כלכלה פוליטית בעידן ניאו-ליברלי / מאת דניאל ממן וזהב רוזנהק

יובל יונאי

עמודים: 200-203


על: Media and New Capitalism in the Digital Age: The Spirit of Networks / by Eran Fisher

דניאל ממן

עמודים: 204-206


על: הנה זה בא: כיצד נשרוד את שינוי האקלים / מאת דני רבינוביץ

מרב כץ-קמחי

עמודים: 207-209


על: מי מוכן לסחוב על גבו את הסרט הזה? התבוננות בטרילוגיית הסרטים של רון עופר ויוחאי חקק על החברה החרדית

תמר אלאור

עמודים: 210-213


על: Yeshiva Fundamentalism: Piety, Gender, and Resistance in Ultra-Orthodox World / by Nurit stadler

רבקה נריה בן שחר

עמודים: 214-217


על: חרדיות רכה: התחדשות דתית ביהדות המזרחית / מאת נסים ליאון

תמר אלאור

עמודים: 218-221


על: לזרום נגד הזרם: פרדוקסים בהגשמת חזון "העידן החדש" בישראל / מאת דלית שמחאי

עידו תבורי

עמודים: 222-224


על: New Rituals, Old Societies: Invented Rituals in Contemporary Israel / by Nissan Rubin

תמר כתריאל

עמודים: 225-226


על: Embodying Culture: Pregnancy in Japan and Israel / by Tsipy Ivry

סיגל גולדין

עמודים: 227-229


על: Perspectives on Israeli Anthropology / by Esther Hertzog, Orit Abuhav, Harvey E. Goldberg & Emanuel Marx (Eds)

ארז כהן

עמודים: 230-232


על: ליקוי מאורות התבונה / מאת מקס הורקהיימר

אורי רם

עמודים: 233-236


דברי תגובה לביקורת של ראובן שפירא על הספר הקיבוץ על דרכים מתפצלות

מנחם טופל

עמודים: 237-239

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Taken from: Al Ha'esh (On the Fire) / Nir Avieli, Vol. 14 No.1

Taken From: Dancers in Iron Age Israel ca. 1200-600 BCE / Batyah Schachter, Vol. 13 No. 2

Taken From: Dancers in Iron Age Israel ca. 1200-600 BCE / Batyah Schachter, Vol. 13 No. 2

Taken from: Display of Institutional Power between Race and Gender / Noa Hazan, Vol. 14 No. 2