Katan, Dalia. Building a Shared Israeli Society: Improving Arab-Jewish Relations in Israel Through Workforce Integration, Senior Thesis. Princeton: Princeton University, 2015.
Advisor: Dancygier, Rafaela
Integration is one of Israel’s greatest challenges, as Israeli Arabs, comprising 20 percent of the Israeli population, are still a segregated minority. After an incredibly violent summer for both Israelis and Palestinians, it has become more important than ever to find a solution to this issue that involves building a shared Israeli society. I argue that because the workforce is the last place where segregated societies can come together, it presents a critical opportunity to integrate. Driven by intergroup contact theory, this thesis demonstrates that (1) the workplace environment is optimal for positive intergroup contact, (2) integration in the workplace produces more positive outgroup opinions and (3) positive outgroup opinions can could withstand pressure from ethnic conflict. This is supported by 47 interviews and surveys, and guided by preexisting frameworks on intergroup contact. With this research, I hope to contribute to the literature on intergroup contact, which has yet to explore workforce integration in Israel and link it to intergroup contact theory. The findings of this thesis will be beneficial for private and public sectors to consider in order to maximize the benefits of intergroup contact and work toward a shared society.