Patterns of transition to adulthood: A comparative study of israeli society

Tamar Rapoport, Edna Lomsky-Feder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Patterns of transition to adulthood are conceptualised in terms of three dimensions encompassing contradictory principles: the social definition of youth (consistent/inconsistent), the structure of social relations (hierarchical/symmetrical), and behavioural orientations (conformity/deviation). We apply this conceptualisation to a comparative analysis of transition to adulthood in Israel during two distinct historical periods: the 1950s (‘transitional society’) and the 1980s (‘post-transitional society’), studying the link between macro-social conditions and transition anchored in the life-cycle of the individual. The research entails a structured content analysis of articles appearing in an Israeli newspaper for youth during the two periods, where the unit of analysis is roles. The findings indicate two different, yet non-polar patterns of transition: ‘Transitional society’ is characterised by the coexistence of contradictory principles related to a strongly ambivalent attitude toward youth. ‘Post-transitional society’ shows fewer coexisting contradictions due to a reduced reliance on youth and an ability to absorb loose behaviour.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)415-432
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1988


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