Area Handbook for Israel

By Harvey H. Smith; Frederica M. Bunge et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7 FAMILY

In the late 1960's the prevailing form of family organization and the dominant pattern of domestic life were those of the urban European-derived and native-born majority, which comprised about 72 percent of the population. The usual type of family structure was the nuclear family, composed of a man, his wife, and their children. Family members followed the same general style of domestic life as their counterparts in Europe or the United States; that is, the family was an independent economic unit in which husband and wife had a generally equal relationship, sharing the management of family funds and the making of decisions. Discipline of children was usually moderate, and early signs of independence were encouraged.

The family performed an important social role. It gave its members a sense of social identity, served as focal point of emotional and physical security, and was the chief instrument for the socialization of the young. At the same time, however, it shared with other social institutions, such as the schools, youth groups, and the army, certain traditional functions which, in less complex societies, lay within its scope.

Patterns of domestic life varied in accordance with a number of criteria. The two most significant were the size and type of community in which the family lived and the national origin of the head of the household. Of secondary importance were the family's religious behavior and its financial resources. The urban centers accounted for about 82 percent of the population. European-born (Ashkenazic) and native (Sabra) Israelis were concentrated in the three largest cities, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem, with only a few in the smaller towns. On the other hand, Sephardic Jews, tracing their origins mainly to Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Turkey, and North Africa, were settled primarily in medium-size and smaller urban centers.

Urban families headed by a European or Sabra husband were typically of the middle-income level, with adult members engaged in managerial or professional pursuits. Despite the fact that family members spent a good deal of time away from each other at work, in school, or in civic activities, the domestic unit was generally closeknit. Parents spent much of their leisure time in the company of their children. Nominally adherents of Judaism, most members of this

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Area Handbook for Israel
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Preface v
  • COUNTRY SUMMARY vii
  • Contents xi
  • SECTION I. SOCIAL 1
  • Chapter 2 - PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT 13
  • Chapter 3 Historical Setting 29
  • Chapter 4 - POPULATION 55
  • Chapter 5 Ethnic Groups and Languages 67
  • Chapter 6 Social Structures 75
  • Chapter 7 Family 89
  • CHAPTER 8 - LIVING CONDITIONS 98
  • Chapter 9 - EDUCATION 113
  • Chapter 10 - ARTISTIC AND INTELLECTUAL EXPRESSION 131
  • Chapter 12 - SOCIAL VALUES 153
  • SECTION II. POLITICAL 163
  • Chapter 14 - POLITICAL DYNAMICS 187
  • Chapter 15 Foreign Relations 209
  • Chapter 16 - PUBLIC INFORMATION 221
  • Chapter 17 - POLITICAL VALUES AND ATTITUDES 239
  • Chapter 18 - BIOGRAPHIES OF SELECTED KEY PERSONALITIES 255
  • SECTION III. ECONOMIC 273
  • Chapter 20 Agriculture 285
  • Chapter 21 Industry 299
  • Chapter 22 Labor 311
  • Chapter 23 - DOMESTIC TRADE 333
  • Chapter 24 - FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS 345
  • Chapter 25 Financial and Monetary System 357
  • SECTION IV. NATIONAL SECURITY 369
  • Chapter 27 - PUBLIC ORDER AND INTERNAL SECURITY 397
  • Index 447
  • PUBLISHED AREA HANDBOOKS 457
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