Traditional modernity and religiosity: Time use in Israeli households

Oriel Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this paper I contribute to the critique of the inconsistencies of the concepts of 'modern' and 'traditional' when applied in macro-sociological accounts of the family, through the examination of a relatively under-utilized indicator of household behaviour: time use. Israeli Jewish households offer the opportunity to examine a range of patterns of family life along dimensions of differentiation such as ethnicity, education and religiosity. In some instances, these patterns display characteristics which have been used in the literature to differentiate 'traditional' and 'modern' variants. For example, it is clear that those identifying as 'not religious' conform most, in terms of leisure participation and shared eating behaviour, to notions of the modern secular family. However, the complexity of the interrelationships between religiosity, ethnicity and time use demonstrates the pitfalls of the uncritical association of religious identification with 'traditional' family behaviours. There is a need to take account of household behaviours and characteristics other than those customarily analysed in order to facilitate a fuller understanding of dimensions of differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-639
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Ethnicity
  • Family
  • Israel
  • Religiosity
  • Time use
  • Tradition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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