Division of Labor and Decision-Making in Arab Families in Israel: Processes of Change and Preservation

Nasreen Haj-Yahia, Yoav Lavee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study examines the changes that Arab families in Israel have undergone over three generations. It focuses on change and preservation in the division of labor between spouses, in the attitudes toward it, and оn how decisions are made in the family. It also examines the factors contributing to the preservation of traditional characteristics and those contributing to change. The study included 378 Moslem and Christian Arab women from three generations (grandmothers, mothers, and daughters). The findings indicate significant changes: the younger the generation is, the less traditional are the attitudes it holds and the more egalitarian the life of the couple is. The factors found to promote change were the woman’s education, work outside the home, intensive contacts with the Jewish population, and living near Jewish communities. The factor that was found to contribute most to the preservation of traditional patterns is consensual solidarity with the mother.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-33
Number of pages19
JournalMarriage and Family Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • Arab family
  • change processes
  • decision-making
  • division of labor
  • intergenerational solidarity theory
  • marital relations
  • modernization theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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