Key educational experiences in Israeli families: Adventures, trust and self-discover

Gad Yair*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper highlights the importance of key educational experiences for studies of family socialization. It shows that these rare yet decisive educative events constitute opportunities for selfdiscovery and personal transformation. The empirical investigation is based on a large qualitative study of key educational experiences in Israel, using retrospective accounts provided by adults speaking about their best educational experiences, focusing on episodes that took place in the family. The results suggest that surprising challenges in the family affected self-discovery, and that these outstanding events allowed people to choose new biographical trajectories. Specifically, they point to the centrality of "outward bound" experiences and to the role that the crossing of normative boundaries plays in forming turning points in people's lives. Coupled with an undercurrent of supportive trust, these episodes constituted arenas for biographical turning points and had long lasting effects. Based on these results, the new approach proposed here seeks to complement cumulative models in family socialization literature, and to open up new avenues for research on families and the educational role they play.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)809-825
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Comparative Family Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2009


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