New middle class and environmental lifestyle in Israel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the way class location in general and new middle class location in particular affect environmental lifestyles among Israelis. Israel is a unique case because on the one hand it is well embedded in global processes of production and consumption but on the other hand labors under a volatile regional conflict, which means that the environment does not rank high on the public agenda. I test two competing theoretical predictions on the association between class location and environmental lifestyle. I pay particular attention to a relatively new class segment that the literature portrays as having special affinity with environmental issues, namely social-cultural specialists. The first prediction argues that contemporary environmentalism draws support from a broad cross-section of society rather than from particular social groups. The second prediction maintains that environmentalism draws more support from the social-cultural specialists because this class is composed of individuals who are highly educated, trained in more humanistic and value laden knowledge and skills, and develop more progressive attitudes and behavior. Based on analyses of survey data I conclude that in the Israeli context the hypothesis on the broadening base of environmentalism receives support, and that the cleavage between technocrats and social-cultural workers is of no consequence for environmental lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Middle Classes
Subtitle of host publicationGlobalizing Lifestyles, Consumerism and Environmental Concern
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781402099373
StatePublished - 2009


  • Environment
  • Israel
  • Lifestyle
  • New middle class
  • Social-cultural specialists

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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