Educational stratification among Arabs and Jews in Israel: Historical disadvantage, discrimination, and opportunity

Barbara S. Okun*, Dov Friedlander

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

Arabs in Israel are a heterogeneous but largely underprivileged minority with a history of disadvantage in several domains, including education and employment. In this paper, we document changes in their attainment of various educational levels across cohorts born from the mid-1920s to the 1970s. We make comparisons among different Arab religious groups, between men and women, and between Arabs and the majority Jewish populations in Israel. We find that over consecutive birth cohorts, substantial ethnic differences in educational attainment have narrowed at the lower levels of schooling, but have increased at higher levels. Moreover, the results indicate that the disadvantage of Muslim Arabs in terms of entry into and completion of high school can be accounted for only partially by differences in the social status of their parents and characteristics of their neighbourhoods. The findings suggest that long-term historical differences among groups and discriminatory practices towards Arabs are important factors in explanations of disparities in educational attainment.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)163-180
Number of pages18
JournalPopulation Studies
Volume59
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

Keywords

  • Arabs
  • Discrimination
  • Education
  • Israel
  • Muslims

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