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A comparative perspective helps assess features of Israeli society, deepens understanding of Israel and other societies, arrives at scientific generalizations and overcomes the provincialism of case studies. But is Israel comparable to any other society, and if so, to what type? Or rather, are comparisons pointless because of Israeli exceptionalism? Israel is compared to Western societies, revolutionary societies, deeply divided societies and colonial societies. These comparisons should be closely scrutinized. Israel is only partly Western; its founding Zionist revolution is unfinished; it is a deeply divided society but stable and endures little intergroup violence; and its non-colonial characteristics outweigh its colonial facade. Israel deviates from models of society it is compared to and is largely unique. Yet, its inclusion in comparative studies exposes both its uniqueness and resemblance to other societies and contributes to scholarship.



Sammy Smooha’s ‘ethnic democracy’ model challenged the notion of the uniqueness of Israel by setting it as the archetype of a special type of democracy: ‘ethnic democracy’. But contrary to what Smooha seems to suggest, Israel’s national identity is indeed unique. In each of Smooha’s East European examples, besides the concept of a core ethnic nation, the notion of a civic territorial nation exists, which makes possible the integration or ‘assimilation’ into the dominant culture of those who are not members of the core ethnic nation. Israel’s national identity does not recognize the existence of a civic territorial nation and makes no provisions for the integration or assimilation of non-Jews, especially Arabs, into the dominant Hebrew culture.


Militarism in Israel is embedded in spatial processes. I argue that militarism and the transformations that it has faced, such as de-militarization and re-militarization, are expressed in the establishment of new settlements. The paper proposes a new terminology to analyze the link between militarism and space: “(open/internal) frontier”, which underlines the link between ethno-nationalism, militarism, and settlement; “global frontier”, which unravels the link between settlement and security; and “frontieriphery”, in which the periphery mobilizes the discourse of frontier to gain political and material capacity. This terminology is analyzed across three lines: ideological, militaristic/civil, and social. Through these lines the paper explores the links between militarism, space, and social structure, and analyzes ideological clashes in Israel.



The paper focuses on post-secondary non-academic education (PSE) in Israel as a possible attempt to widen participation in higher education. Development and changes in PSE from 1971 to 2005 are described for the first time using historical documents and data from the Central Bureau of Statistics. Students in PSE were found to come mostly from disempowered social and cultural groups. They acknowledge the importance of educational credentials and express high educational aspirations. Overall, the findings indicate the need to adopt a new policy toward PSE and to expand research in this domain.



This article examines the meanings of symbols and practices in use among peer groups of young Israelis on the Internet through a semiotic analysis of adolescents’ social dialect. Through 38 interviews and analyses of over 500 posts of four youth-dominated newsgroups between 1998 and 2006 the study reveals how youth express meanings and experiences, while creating an autonomous range of symbols, informal community rhetoric and humanized social meanings of teens’ online social worlds. Findings uncovered three main modes of cultural representation: (1) iconographic metaphors of fantasy, laughter and ridicule; (2) a rhetoric of fraternity and solidarity; (3) the creation and use of idiomatic expressions of friendship, animistic personifications of cyberspace and group harmony.




Many Western countries, Israel among them, are associated with a pro-natalist ideology. This study examines for the first time the local appearance of the cracks in this ideology and focuses on the creation of a non-natalist counter-culture within a pro-natalist society, namely, the rejection of parenthood in Israel. Interviews with childfree couples, as well as content analysis of an Internet forum, show that the interpretations, activities, and everyday choices of these social actors are made possible by a macro-social framework that actually proves to be cracked. The rejection of parenthood widens these cracks, thereby increasing the degree of autonomy in social decision-making, even within a cultural framework perceived as hegemonic.



Ethnography of a micro-entrepreneurship course for low-income women reveals a strong influence of a modern gender contract that constructs them as secondary breadwinners, whose main contribution is emotional work. The women approach entrepreneurship with “an ethics of love”, while avoiding any explicit ambition to make good money. Analysis of work as a practice of civil participation allows interpretation of the women’s quest for normative femininity as part of their overall journey away from the margins. I argue that the process of teaching women to formalize their work produces a paradoxical effect of inclusion and exclusion: the endorsement of hegemonic practices of work and consumption paves the way to their civil inclusion, while reinforcing their initial marking as deficient subjects.



This article discusses the “second pension reform” in Israel in light of the neo-institutional theory of institutional change. Policy entrepreneurs strategically used political construction of crisis to advance their agenda when windows of opportunity opened up. These political constructions helped them overcome political resistance in the legislative and the public spheres. Ways whereby wider changes in social and economic policies were promoted are revealed. Liberalization of capital markets and a shifting balance of power between labor and capital were separate motives for the reform. From this angle, the pension reform is a significant event in the institutionalization of the neo-liberal regime in Israel.


על הספר "Generations Apart: Adult Hostility to Youth" מאת ליאון שלף
רינה שלף
עמודים: 485-488

שיח בין-דורי: הערות על הסוציולוגיה של דורות
חנה הרצוג
סימפוזיון לזכר ליאון שלף
עמודים: 489-492

משבר השיתוף הבין-דורי בנחלות של יוצאי הרי האטלס
משה שוקד
סימפוזיון לזכר ליאון שלף
עמודים: 493-496

זכויות של ילדים ועוינות של מבוגרים
דפנה הקר
סימפוזיון לזכר ליאון שלף
עמודים: 497-501

דור וזיכרון קולקטיבי
ורד ויניצקי-סרוסי
סימפוזיון לזכר ליאון שלף
עמודים: 502-506

 תגובה לדבר העורך בגיליון העשור (חוברת י[2], 2009)

עידן ירון ועמרי הרצוג
עמודים: 507-509

ביקורות ספרים - פתח דבר
שלמה פישר ומיכל פגיס
עמודים: 511-512

על: 1. Ritual in its Own Right / edited by Don Handelman and Galina Lindquist;
2. Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity / by Adam B. Seligman, Robert P. Weller, Michael J. Puett and Bennett Simon

חיים חזן

עמודים: 513-517

על: The Golem in German Social Theory / by Gad Yair and Michaela Soyer
עופר נורדהיימר-נור
עמודים: 518-520

על: החברה המיסטית: חזון חברתי מתפתח / מאת פיליפ וקסלר
שלמה פישר
עמודים: 521-523

על: נשים ומגדר במזרח התיכון במאה העשרים / בעריכת רות רודד ונוגה אפרתי
חנה הרצוג

עמודים: 524-526

על: The Other Iraq: Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq / by Orit Bashkin
אסתר מאיר-גליצנשטיין
עמודים: 527-529

על: Beyond Sacred and Secular: Politics of Religion in Israel and Turkey / by Sultan Tepe
ענת לפידות-פירילה

עמודים: 530-532

על: נשים ציוניות באמריקה: הדסה ותקומת ישראל / מאת מירה קצבורג-יונגמן
רינה נאמן
עמודים: 533-535

על: The American Dream—For Men Only? Gender, Immigration, and the Assimilation of Israelis in the United States / by Lilach Lev-Ari
אבי קיי
עמודים: 536-538

על: ע(ו)ל הסובלנות: מסורות דתיות ואתגר הפלורליזם / בעריכת שלמה פישר ואדם ב' סליגמן
יוכי פישר
עמודים: 539-541

על: עבודה, הון ושלטון: עשור בתולדות תנועת הפועלים בארגנטינה / מאת אפרים דוידי

שני בר-און

עמודים: 542-544




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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