Unpacking secularization: Structural changes, individual choices and ethnic paths

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10 Scopus citations


Studies of secularization suggest it is a complex and multidimensional process and that secularization unfolds in different sets of identities, practices and values. But, in spite of its non-linear and non-coherent character, secularization it is not necessarily arbitrary and individualistic. Rather, as this work demonstrates, ethnic groups may be influenced by similar secularizing forces, but the impact of these forces will be different and different paths of secularization will take place. In this work, based on a survey conducted in March 2009 of a representative sample of the adult Jewish population in Israel, we study three major ethnic groups in Israel to demonstrate how ethnicity influences the process of secularization measured in beliefs, practices and attitudes. Our findings demonstrate that ethnicity creates distinct paths of secularization with different changes of practices, beliefs and values. While for some ethnic groups secularization happens alongside a significant change in beliefs, practices and behaviors, for others religion remains significant and secularization is more partial, especially when measured in liberal values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-112
Number of pages22
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Israel
  • Secularization
  • ethnicity
  • identity
  • religiosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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