Over the past two decades, Israel has been remaking itself in line with the commercial models of Western market societies. Nowhere is this trend more evident than in private consumption patterns. Most Israelis crave parity with Western lifestyles - private automobiles, mobile phones, spacious housing fashionably furnished, accessibility to shopping malls and leisure travel abroad. Alongside these new aspirations, internationally branded commodities and franchises such as McDonald's, Office Depot, Benetton, IKEA and Toys 'R' Us increasingly feature in the Israeli landscape, and advertising has emerged as a primary vehicle for persuasion, competition and cultural expression. This book is the first to explore fully the significance of these transformations. The authors show how different groups - kibbutzniks, Israeli Arabs, Ultra-Orthodox Jews, new immigrants and middle-class Israelis - alternately exhibit a suspicion towards and enthusiasm for the enhanced individual freedoms of a consumer market society. Lifestyle consumerism is recognized as an alien import, potentially disruptive of the ethos of communality, common destiny and national purpose. At the same time, because consumption helps unite diverse groups to the greater whole of the nation, the globe, and modernity, it conveys a sense of normalcy and affluence in a time of major social transition and political turmoil. Consumption and Market Society in Israel is not only innovative in its research, but it is a timely contribution to a hotly debated topic.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction 2 Of Thorns and Flowers: Consuming Identities in the Negev 3 Consumption and the Making of Neighborliness: A Tel-Aviv Case Study 4 Tourism and Change in a Galilee Kibbutz: An Ethnography 5 The Ultraorthodox Flaneur: Toward the Pleasure Principle. Consuming Time and Space in the Contemporary Haredi Population of Jerusalem 6 Food for Thought: The Dining Table and Identity Construction among Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union in Israel 7 "Doing Market" across National and Gender Divides: Consumption Patterns of Israeli Palestinians 8 Consumption under Construction: Power and Production of Homes in Galilee 9 Consuming the Holy Spirit in the Holy Land: Evangelical Churches, Labor Migrants and the Jewish State
Yoram S. Carmeli is Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University of Haifa. Kalman Applbaum is Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.