PhD-educated Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Women as an Interpretive Cultural Phenomenon

Adi Binhas, Yaffa Moskovich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) society in Israel is in a process of change involving growing integration into academia, the labor market, and the military. This study deals with the integration of Ultra-Orthodox women into academia. Specifically, it examines how Haredi female PhDs cope with two different value systems. The study utilizes the sociological definitions of dominant culture, subcultures of values, and countercultures. The methodology is qualitative: twenty semi-structured interviews with women with a PhD in Israel in 2021. The findings highlight the motivation to learn as a way of personal expression and development; the attitude of the Haredi community toward female PhDs as rebellious and critical of Ultra-Orthodox values; the women's integration into academia and subsequent exposure to new values; and their creation of a hybrid subculture in order to function within their two different worlds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-366
Number of pages23
JournalComparative Sociology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • academic studies
  • community attitudes
  • countercultures
  • dominant culture
  • educated Haredi women
  • subcultures of values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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