Strategies of economic endurance: Israeli Palestinians in the ethnic economy and the public sector

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This chapter reports the results of comparative analysis of the socioeconomic achievements (income, occupational prestige, standard of living, job power characteristics) of four groups of Palestinian citizens of Israel: employees in the Palestinian-owned businesses, employees in the dominant (Jewish-owned) economy, employees in the public sector, and self-employed workers. The findings indicate that Israeli Palestinians have two paths to overcome barriers for advancement in the main economy. The first option, economic entrepreneurship, is realized mostly by joining a family business, while the second option, public employment, is more meritocratic and depends upon formal education. Private-sector employees are almost equally disadvantaged in both segments of the economy. The Palestinian economy, however, is important for offering the possibility of self-employment, and given the unfeasibility of assimilation, the ethnic economy is certainly vital for the well-being of Palestinians. We argue that this situation is typical to ethnic minorities in post-colonial societies, in which ethnic separation is deeply engraved into the social structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-247
Number of pages41
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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