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Gender and American Jews

Patterns in Work, Education, and Family in Contemporary Life

Harriet Hartman

Publication Year: 2009

In Gender and American Jews, Harriet Hartman and Moshe Hartman interpret the results of the two most recent National Jewish Population Surveys. Building on their critical work in Gender Equality and American Jews (1996), and drawing on relevant sociological work on gender, religion, and secular achievement, this new book brings their analysis of gendered patterns in contemporary Jewish life right to the present moment.

The first part of the book examines the distinctiveness of American Jews in terms of family behavior, labor-force patterns, and educational and occupational attainment. The second investigates the interrelationships between "Jewishness" and religious, economic, and family behavior, including intermarriage. Deploying an engaging assortment of charts and graphs and a rigorous grasp of statistics, the Hartmans provide a multifaceted portrait of a multidimensional population.

Published by: Brandeis University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Many observers have assumed that gender is no longer a major factor in American Jewish life, but—according to this carefully argued, brilliantly documented analysis of male and female life cycles, roles, behaviors, and values—gender is more important...


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pp. xi

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1. An Introduction to Gender and American Jews and the Significance of the Inquiry

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pp. 1-9

A recent book questions the “declining significance of gender” in the U.S. population (Blau, Brinton, and Grusky, 2006). Geffen (2007) considers egalitarianism to be so pervasive and normative in American Jewish life that it is no longer a topic...

Part I: The Distinctiveness of Gendered Patterns of Secular Achievement among American Jews

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pp. 11-117

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2. Education Patterns: The Foundation of Family and Economic Roles

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pp. 13-24

We start by looking at gender differences in educational attainment among contemporary American Jews. Education is a good starting point, for (at least) two reasons: (1) It is basic to considering achievement in secular activities...

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3. Family Patterns of American Jews

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pp. 25-43

This chapter explores the distinctiveness of American Jewish family patterns and analyzes the gender differences within them. As mentioned earlier, historically Jews have demonstrated two contradictory tendencies, which make this an interesting case...

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4. Labor Force Participation and Occupational Achievement

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pp. 44-87

According to the 1990 National Jewish Population Survey, not only are American Jewish women highly educated, they are (not surprisingly) active in the labor force and have high occupational achievement. These educational and economic characteristics...

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5. Dual-Earning Patterns of American Jews

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pp. 88-117

Given the high labor force participation rates of both Jewish men and women, it is expected that in a high proportion of American Jewish couples, both spouses will be working in the labor force, that is, as dual-earner couples. The main purpose...

Part II: Ways of Being Jewish and the Distinctive Secular Roles of American Jewish Women and Men

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6. Gendered Patterns of Jewishness

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pp. 121-151

So far we have considered the Jewishness of the gendered patterns of family and labor force behavior and achievements by comparing American Jews with the broader population and, to some extent, examining the changes in this comparison...

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7. How Jewishness is Related to Family Patterns of American Jews

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pp. 152-171

The relationship between Jewishness and family behavior is complex. Family serves as a metaphor for the entire Jewish people: “From the Bible forward the Jewish people is portrayed at its core as a large extended family descended from the patriarch...

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8. How Jewishness is Related to Gendered Patterns of Secular Achievement

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pp. 172-202

We saw in the preceding chapter that Jewishness is related to variation in family behavior, and we were able to isolate some particular elements of Jewishness that are related to such variation. The most striking variation is that the family behavior...

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9. How Jewishness is Related to American Jews’ Dual-Earning Patterns

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pp. 203-229

In the preceding two chapters, we considered whether an individual’s Jewishness was related to his or her behavior with respect to family formation, childbearing, labor force participation, and occupational achievement and rewards. In this chapter...

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10. Intermarriage and Gendered Patterns of Secular Achievement

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pp. 230-249

Perhaps the most direct test of the integration of American Jews into the broader population is intermarriage. It might be expected that Jews married to non-Jews would be less differentiated from the broader U.S. society in a number of ways, and there is no reason...

Part III: Conclusions

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pp. 251-268

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11. Conclusions and a Look to the Future

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pp. 253-268

Whether or not it is an issue for American Jewish men and women, gender continues to differentiate them in terms of their family behavior, labor force participation, occupational achievement and rewards, expressions and strength of Jewish...

Appendix: Statistical Tables

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pp. 269-275


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pp. 277-281


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pp. 283-293


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pp. 295-298

E-ISBN-13: 9781584658276
E-ISBN-10: 1584658274
Print-ISBN-13: 9781584657569

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2009