Between separation and integration: the case of educated Bedouin women in the Negev

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In this qualitative paper, I have examined how women from a conservative minority group handle their encounter with the values of the majority group as they acquire academic education. This examination was undertaken in the general context of the research tradition that addresses the sociological and anthropological attributes of conservative societies when in confrontation with the processes of moderation, and is based on the acculturation model formulated by Berry. The source materials for this qualitative study are based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 30 Bedouin students. The fact that Bedouin women who wish to study strive to maintain traditional values, such as their manner of dress, indicates their understanding that it is necessary to create change and acquire an academic education in order to earn a suitable salary and aid their communities, while at the same time upholding the boundaries and conventions set by the community. Tradition is thus maintained, and traditional and even religious values continue to exist within the boundaries of the minority group, alongside the stretching of those boundaries and the integration of values from ‘outside’ with those ‘inside.’

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Identities
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2017


  • Bedouin women
  • Identity strategies
  • higher education
  • modernization
  • traditional society


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