Paths to Middle-Class Mobility among Second-Generation Moroccan Immigrant Women in Israel

Paths to Middle-Class Mobility among Second-Generation Moroccan Immigrant Women in Israel

by Beverly Mizrachi


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While first-generation immigrant women often begin their lives at the bottom of their new societies, the fates of their adult daughters can be very different. Still, little research has been done to examine the opportunities or constraints that second-generation women face and the class achievements they make. In this volume, author Beverly Mizrachi presents an in-depth study of 40­-50-year-old Moroccan women whose parents made up part of the largest ethnic group to enter Israel after its establishment in 1948 and whose mothers began their new lives at the bottom of the economic and social ladder. Through her analysis of the life history narratives of these women, Mizrachi reveals that they used a range and number of sites to achieve an impressive mobility into the low, middle, and high segments of the middle class. Mizrachi's findings have implications for studying the middle-class mobility of second-generation immigrant women from subordinate groups in other Western societies.

Paths to Middle-Class Mobility among Second-Generation Moroccan Immigrant Women in Israel begins by examining the historical background and culture of Jewish communities in Morocco that affected the mobility resources of the first, immigrant generation of Moroccan women in Israel and those accrued by the second generation. Mizrachi goes on to analyze the life history narratives of a group of six second-generation Moroccan women to show how they used their education, employment, gendered spousal relationships, motherhood, residential mobility, and the body to achieve their middle-class mobility. Ultimately, she finds that these women used their human agency and social structures over these multiple social sites to reach their class goals for themselves and their children while simultaneously constructing new classed and ethnicized feminine identities.

Mizrachi's findings integrate issues of gender, ethnicity, immigration, and class mobility in a single intriguing study. Her volume will appeal to students and teachers of sociology, anthropology, ethnography, and Middle East studies as well as readers interested in immigration and women's studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814338810
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
Publication date: 05/01/2013
Series: Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Beverly Mizrachi is a senior lecturer in sociology at Ashkelon Academic College in Ashkelon, Israel. She is a co-author of the book Immigrants in Israel and has published research on gender, immigration and absorption, stratification and class mobility, and the family in professional journals and anthologies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1

2 Moroccan Women in Morocco and in Israel 13

3 Becoming a Semiprofessional 35

4 Transforming One's Self and One's Body 51

5 Acquiring Educational Credentials 67

6 A Divorcee Does It on Her Own 81

7 Comfortable in Her Own Skin 95

8 Privilege and Its Discontent 107

9 Discussion: Paths to Middle-Class Mobility 121

Methodology Appendix: Classifying the Women 151

Notes 155

Bibliography 179

Index 195

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