Occupational Rehabilitation or Self-Change? Practices for Self-Change in an Occupational Rehabilitation Group for Ultra-Orthodox Low-SES Women in Israel

Gitit Sagiv Zuri, Avihu Shoshana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article is based on ethnographies in an occupational rehabilitation group for unemployed and underemployed Jewish ultra-Orthodox low socioeconomic status women in Israel. The ethnographies tracked the cross-cultural encounter between ultra-Orthodox women and an organization that uses neoliberal practices in its occupational rehabilitation. The findings revealed the implications of practices promoting autonomy and freedom to choose, psychologizing structural barriers, and simulating the occupational world in a group setting. They also demonstrated ultra-Orthodox women’s agentic solutions for dealing with the discursive clash they experienced between the collectivist and neoliberal discourses. They used collectivization—familiar to them from their ultra-Orthodox culture—to respond to the demands for individualism and freedom to choose, which enabled them to proceed on their own terms. This article discusses intercultural encounters in the context of occupational rehabilitation for minority groups and the importance of designing culturally sensitive facilitation practices that include cultural translation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • cultural sensitivity
  • group setting
  • occupational rehabilitation
  • psychologization
  • self-concept
  • ultra-Orthodox women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies

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