Palgi, Michal and Shlomo Getz. “Varieties in Developing Sustainability: The Case of the Israeli Kibbutz.” International Review of Sociology 24.1 (2014): 38-47.
Kibbutz communities and organizations were originally structured to be egalitarian and democratic. The last two decades proved to be a major challenge for their sustainability due to a serious economic crisis. Many scholars have lamented the end of the kibbutz, some of them claiming that there is no place for utopias in the twenty-first century. Kibbutz communities were trying to survive within a turbulent economic and social environment. This article will attempt to analyse varieties in developing sustainability that were adopted by kibbutz communities. Focusing on the impact of the economic crisis, we will investigate processes of value change within the kibbutz, taking into consideration that the kibbutz does not exist in a vacuum but is rather embedded within a society that has undergone transformation processes from a socialistic to a capitalistic orientation. The article will look at different solutions that kibbutz communities have adopted and strategies that kibbutz members used in order to cope with this crisis. We will explain how these solutions and strategies are reflected in members’ values and attitudes as well as taking into consideration in which areas value change was fast and in which it was slower. Our analysis will lead to a reflection on the different communitarian and non-communitarian models that might evolve in the kibbutz communities and their possible outcome. The discussion will focus on three dimensions of sustainability methods adopted by kibbutz communities that integrate value change, organizational change, and community processes.