Class Mobility Trends in Israeli Society, 1974-1991

Author: Yaish, Meir
This book engages in the ongoing debate concerning the consequences of the industrialization process for social mobility. At the heart of this debate is the ‘liberal thesis’ which states that the industrialization process brings about not only more opportunity for social mobility, but also more equality of opportunity while social selection processes become more meritocratic. The social context for this study is Israeli society.


“….the deepest significance of the analysis of social mobility in the Israeli case is that - as Yaish recognizes – it underlines the need for fairly radical theoretical reorientation in the field…..The hope must be that the rising generation of social mobility researchers, of which Meir Yaish is a notable member, will rise to the challenge that has so ably helped to define.” (From the Commendatory Preface) John H. Goldthorpe, Emeritus Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford

“Meir Yaish’s book applies the techniques and approaches of contemporary class analysis to study social mobility in Israel. The exceptionally weak links between class origins and class destinations make Israel an unusually interesting context in which to study mobility processes. This book is thus an important contribution to our knowledge of Israeli society and to our general understanding of processes of social stratification.” – Professor Richard Breen, Nuffield College, Oxford

“Dr. Yiash’s monograph breaks new ground [first], in rendering the definitive description and analysis of intergenerational social mobility in Israel as it has unfolded from the earliest years of Israeli independence until the early 1990s and [second], in examining and integrating his studies and findings to the central theoretical issues in the sociological study of social mobility…..This book is an important contribution and a basic source for description, documentation, and understanding of Israeli social structure generally and of social stratification and class formation in particular.” – Professor Judah Matras, University of Haifa

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
1. The Theoretical Context
2. The Social Context
3. Concepts, Methods and Data
4. Changes over Time in Relative Rates of Mobility
5. Changes over Time in Absolute Rates of Mobility
6. The National and Ethnic Dimensions of the Israeli Class Structure: Patterns, Trends and Social Mobility
7. The Influx of Immigrants and Class Mobility
8. The Role of Education in Class Mobility
9. Towards a Meritocratic Society?
10. Discussion