In 2005, the State of Israel established a new classification—renewing kibbutzim. This study examines the relationship between the extent of privatization and the various forms of demographic growth that were permissible under the new classification and their impact on the perceived sustainability of the kibbutz in these communal communities. We collected data at the kibbutz level via interviews with community managers and at the individual level through questionnaires among community members in 19 kibbutzim. We employed the “nearest neighbor” methodology to create pairs who were demographically eligible for a before and after comparison. Although our results about perceived sustainability suggest that kibbutzim across the board have overcome the struggle to survive and have been able to recover, unlike commonly assumed, changes they adopted in the direction of more privatization and diversified statuses are clearly correlated with smaller increases in levels of perceived sustainability. Our findings may offer lessons for wider sociological questions concerning processes of privatization and stratification.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the collaboration with researchers at the Institute for Research of the Kibbutz and the Cooperative Idea at University of Haifa, Israel. In particular, the authors thank Michal Palgi and Shlomo Getz for insightful discussions and detailed comments. The authors also thank Uriel Leviatan for making earlier data on the kibbutzim available for this project. This work was supported by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as part of the project “Demographic Growth, Organizational Change, and the Sustainability of the Kibbutz in the Rural Hemisphere” (Grant 118-0056-13).
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- communal community
- nearest neighbor