Bulletin: Israeli Palestinians and Arab Minorities in Israel


Nadim N. Rouhana, Israel and its Palestinian Citizens






New Article: Manor-Binyamini, Mothers of Adolescent Children with Disabilities in the Druze Community in Israel

Manor-Binyamini, Iris. “Positive Aspects of Coping among Mothers of Adolescent Children with Developmental Disability in the Druze Community in Israel.” Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13668250.2015.1129665



Background: The purpose of this study was to compare perceptions of coping as experienced by 240 mothers of adolescents with and without developmental disability in the Druze community in Israel. Method: The mothers completed the Sociodemographic Questionnaire, Grandparents Functional Support Assessment, Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales, and the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory. Results: Both groups were found to be similar in their perception of family cohesion and emotional support. However, mothers of adolescents with a developmental disability reported higher rates of both adaptability to change and personal growth. Moreover, associations were found between family cohesion and adaptability to change and support, and between adaptability to change and social support and personal growth. Conclusion: Druze mothers of adolescents with developmental disability reveal important information regarding positive coping strategies.




New Article: Barak-Brandes, Mothers in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials

Barak-Brandes, Sigal. “‘And she does it all in heels’: Mothers in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials.” Feminist Media Studies (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2016.1178160



Although numerous studies have examined the image of women in advertising, the current study is exceptional in looking at the representations of motherhood and mothering practices in contemporary Israeli TV commercials, in an attempt to shed light on the ideological messages they reflect and promote. Sixty-four TV commercials were analyzed using critical discourse analysis. In many ads the mother is depicted as aesthetically pleasing and shapely. This inclusion of the beauty myth in all its cruel demands into the can-do mother myth, could lead Israeli women to a sense of failure as they compare themselves to the glamorous image in the ads and invariably fall short. The hetero-couple-headed nuclear family shown in many ads seems to be a conservative manifestation of the assumption that the “good mother” exists only in the framework of the normative family unit. It seems that in the context of the advertising genre, these are products that lie at the heart of family and couple relationships, and that it is therefore possible to speak of the commodification of the family. The study also found progressive images of the clever, resourceful mother alongside the pathetic, ridiculed one—a new kind of a “bad mother.”


New Article: Barak-Brandes, Ideologies of Motherhood in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials

Barak-Brandes, Sigal. “Ideologies of Motherhood in Contemporary Israeli TV Commercials.” Communication, Culture & Critique (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cccr.12143



This article is the first to scrutinize representations of motherhood and mothering practices in contemporary Israeli TV commercials in an attempt to shed light on the ideological constructs that these representations reflect and promote. I employ critical discourse analysis to identify the major recurring features in commercials that represent mothers and mothering. These features indicate advertising’s ability to mobilize the patriarchal ideology of motherhood while using different thematic motifs, and such a mobilization of ideology occurs in the case of both antiessentialist and essentialist messages on motherhood. These different messages complete and complement each other, while in the end they enable advertising to exploit cultural norms and expectations in the service of the marketing and promotion of commodities.


New Article: Nakash, Postnatal Depression, Acculturation and Mother–Infant Bond Among Eritrean Asylum Seekers

Nakash, Ora, Maayan Nagar, and Ido Lurie. “The Association Between Postnatal Depression, Acculturation and Mother–Infant Bond Among Eritrean Asylum Seekers in Israel.” Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health (early view; online first).
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10903-016-0348-8

We examined the association between postnatal depression (PND), acculturation and mother–infant bond among 38 Eritrean asylum seekers in Israel, who were within 6 months of delivery. Participants completed a survey in their native language. A high rate of women (81.6 %) met the clinical threshold for PND on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Higher severity of PND (partial r = −.64, p < .001), higher identification with Israeli culture (partial r = −.45, p = .02), and lower quality of romantic relationship were associated with impaired mother–infant bond (partial r = .58, p = .002). Findings highlight the need to establish services to screen and treat PND among this vulnerable population in the receiving countries.





Report: Bowers and Fuchs, Women and Parents in the Labor Market

Bowers, Liora and Hadas Fuchs. “Women and Parents in the Labor Market – Israel and the OECD.” Policy Brief, Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, March 2016.


URL: http://taubcenter.org.il/wp-content/files_mf/womenandparents_eng.pdf (PDF)


This brief examines Israeli women’s labor market outcomes and how maternity and parental leave laws in the country compare with those in the OECD. In recent decades, there has been an increase in employment rates among women – particularly among mothers with young children. With regard to payment rate and length of paid leave over a woman’s lifetime, Israel performs better than or similar to other OECD countries. However, there is a gap between Israel and the OECD when it comes to leave benefits for fathers and the design of parental leave benefits.


New Article: Meiri, Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema

Meiri, Sandra. “Visual Responses: Women’s Experience of Sexual Violence as Represented in Israeli Holocaust-Related Cinema.” European Journal of Women’s Studies 22.4 (2015): 443-56.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1350506815606439



This article explores the function of Israeli narrative films’ persistent, albeit marginal, portrayal of women as victims of sexual violence during the Holocaust. While the marginalization of such characters may be attributed to the difficulty of representing sexually-related trauma/post-trauma, their portrayal attests both to the ubiquity of sexually-related crimes in the Holocaust and to its aftermath: namely, the persistence of women’s trauma. The first of the two waves of ‘retro films’ examined here evinces the importance of the visual, cinematic representation of women’s trauma. Its main function is to legitimize its disclosure through cinematic aesthetic/artistic mediation, for sexual violence was a crime committed against helpless victims. The second wave includes films made from the point of view of ‘the second generation’, and explores the topic further by dealing with the transmission of post-traumatic symptoms of women’s trauma to the second generation.




New Article: Amishai-Maisels, Ayana Friedman. Layers of Feminist Struggle

Amishai-Maisels, Ziva. “Ayana Friedman. Layers of Feminist Struggle.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 15.1 (2016): 131-57.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2015.1114822



Ayana Friedman is an Israeli multi-media artist who deals with politics, the Holocaust and society’s treatment of the Other. This article concentrates on her feminist works and how Judaism and being the child of a Holocaust survivor affected her approach to this subject. Three main feminist interests are highlighted. First, the turn to “feminine” materials. Second, the struggle against the restrictions and abuse imposed on women and their specific Jewish examples. Friedman demands equality for women in Judaism, opposing customs that demean them and creating new ritual objects for them. Third, the conflicts women have between a career and motherhood, and the inter-generational problems they involve.





New Article: Mosco, Noga & Atzaba-Poria, Socialization Goals of Mothers and Fathers From the Bedouin Society of the Negev

Mosco, Noga, and Naama Atzaba-Poria. “In Search of ‘the Bedouin Adaptive Adult’. Socialization Goals of Mothers and Fathers From the Bedouin Society of the Negev.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022022115610632



The Bedouins of the Negev are a unique minority group living in southern Israel. They are known to be a formerly nomadic society characterized by tribal collectivism. The purpose of this study was to improve the understanding of the broad context in which parenting and child development take place in Bedouin society by exploring the images Bedouin parents have of the adults they wish their children to become (the adaptive adult). We explored the images of the adaptive adult as expressed by parents’ ratings of individualistic and collectivistic socialization goals (SGs), while also examining the eco-cultural factors that may be related to these images. Specifically, we examined the relations between SG preferences and parental acculturation attitude, parental education, and child gender. Participants included 65 Bedouin mothers and 30 Bedouin fathers. Parents completed the Acculturation Questionnaire and the Socialization Goals Rating Task. Results indicated that mothers who had higher education and those who had higher levels of contact and participation in Israeli Jewish culture preferred more individualistic SGs over collectivistic SGs for their children. Furthermore, acculturation level was a stronger predictor of maternal SGs than level of education. Contrary to mothers, fathers’ SG preferences were found to be related only to their level of education and not to their acculturation levels. Finally, both mothers and fathers preferred individualistic SGs for their sons and collectivistic SGs for their daughters. The links between SG preferences and the factors of parental acculturation, parental education, and child gender are discussed, and implications are proposed.




New Article: Meier, Intersections in Palestinian Single Mothers’ Lives in Israel

Meier, Tal. “Intersections in Palestinian Single Mothers’ Lives in Israel.” Social Identities (early view; online first).

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504630.2015.1100990

The present article addresses the support and supervisional relations of Palestinian Israeli single mothers vis-à-vis their families and communities. It links the theoretical discussion on intersectional analysis with power relations and gender. In this article I focus on the importance of employing analytical models that take into consideration the internal variance within this social category of ‘Palestinian Israeli single mothers’ which emerge due to the contradictory social trends typifying Palestinian society in Israel today – models that examine the implications of the complexity of women’s lives in discrete locations, the changes society is undergoing, together with processes of discrimination and the strengthening of conservative trends. The article is based on data gathered during in-depth, semi-structured interviews that were conducted and analyzed with a commitment to the principles of feminist research.




New Article: Gagne et al, Family Expectations of Future Child Temperament

Gagne, Jeffrey R., Jerry C. Prater, Lior Abramson, David Mankuta, and Ariel Knafo-Noam. “An Israeli Study of Family Expectations of Future Child Temperament.” Family Science (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19424620.2015.1076494



Early emerging child temperament forms the basis for adult personality and has a multitude of developmental implications. Studies have shown that some aspects of temperament can be observed prenatally, and prenatal parent ratings predict postnatal child temperament, thereby influencing future family dynamics. Little research has examined prenatal mother–father agreement on predictions of temperament, or patterns of cross-dimension associations before birth. Parental expectations of their future child’s temperament were investigated in a sample of pregnant Israeli women and their partners. Three modified temperament questionnaires were used to investigate mother–father agreement and associations between temperament dimensions. There were few significant mean differences between mothers’ and fathers’ expectations of child temperament. Parent agreement within temperament dimensions, and associations across dimensions were consistent with the postnatal literature. Findings indicate that parent impressions of child temperament are partially formed before birth, and may represent a shared hope or a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ in families.




New Article: Meier, Palestinian-Israeli Single Mothers Accord Motherhood a New Meaning

Meier, Tal. “Palestinian-Israeli Single Mothers Accord Motherhood a New Meaning ‘I would like to teach my children a new way of life … I’m responsible for them now’.” International Review of Sociology (early view; online first).

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03906701.2015.1065563


Over the last three decades, Palestinian society in Israel has undergone numerous changes, reflected in the rising numbers of families headed by single mothers. This article is based on a study conducted between 2007 and 2011 among 24 divorced, separated, and widowed Palestinian single mothers in Israel. I analyze this emerging family configuration, focusing on these women’s experiences as mothers and on how they accord new meaning to motherhood. My analysis will deal with the diverse ways these women ‘do motherhood’ and negotiate with different familial players. It will extend beyond the discourse on motherhood to shed light on the current changes in power and gender relations taking place in Palestinian-Israeli society.




New Article: Stadler and Luz, Two Venerated Mothers Separated by a Wall

Stadler, Nurit, and Nimrod Luz. “Two Venerated Mothers Separated by a Wall: Iconic Spaces, Territoriality, and Borders in Israel-Palestine.” Religion and Society 6.1 (2015): 127-41.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/arrs.2015.060109



This article explores the role of sacred places and pilgrimage centers in the context of contemporary geopolitical strife and border disputes. Following and expanding on the growing body of literature engaged with the contested nature of the sacred, this article argues that sacred sites are becoming more influential in processes of determining physical borders. We scrutinize this phenomenon through the prism of a small parcel of land on the two sides of the Separation Wall that is being constructed between Israel and Palestine. Our analysis focuses on two holy shrines that are dedicated to devotional mothers: the traditional Tomb of Rachel the Matriarch on the way to Bethlehem and Our Lady of the Wall, an emergent Christian site constructed as a reaction to the Wall. We examine the architectural (and material) phenomenology, the experience, and the implications that characterize these two adjacent spatialities, showing how these sites are being used as political tools by various actors to challenge the political, social, and geographical order.




New Article: Burstein, Israeli Mothers in Film

Burstein, Janet H. “Israeli Mothers in Film: ‘Re-visioning’ Culture, Engendering Autonomy.” Shofar 34.1 (2015): 57-80.


URL: https://muse.jhu.edu/journals/shofar/v034/34.1.burstein.html



In many Israeli films, mothers play conventional supporting roles. But several critically important films made between the 1970s and the first decade of the new century become culturally reflexive as they feature mothers who become the interface between family and culture. In part, these films clarify the difference between satisfying cultural expectations, and living satisfactory personal lives. In part these films perform what Adrienne Rich called a “re-visioning” of cultural assumptions through their effects on mothers. The first section of this paper examines gendered cultural assumptions common to the state’s early decades. In the second section, seven films set in those decades mark maternal vulnerability to cultural imperatives apparently nourished by gendered assumptions. In the third section, four films by one filmmaker look back at a family’s past and move beyond it. Having “re-visioned” the cultural intersection in which one mother suffered and broke down, this filmmaker’s protagonists struggle through the first three films with the residue of the maternal ordeal; the repetitions and differences that figure in their memory of the personal past suggest the affective burden carried by recollective narrative. The protagonist of the fourth film in this series moves past personal remembering toward a more general understanding of mental distress that will engender her autonomy.




New Article: Stadler, Exploring Body Rituals at the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem

Stadler, Nurit. “Land, Fertility Rites and the Veneration of Female Saints: Exploring Body Rituals at the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem.” Anthropological Theory 15.3 (2015): 293-316.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1463499615570779



This article explores the connections between rituals, embodiment, and territorial claims by taking stock of Christian Orthodox rites at the Tomb of Mary in Jerusalem. As part of a comprehensive ethnography of this shrine, I have examined a wide array of body-based female practices that revolve around Mary’s tomb. By rejuvenating embodied practices that are associated with fertility, parturition and maternity, devotees enlist the grotto’s womb-like interior as a platform for kissing, touching, crawling, bending, and other physical acts of devotion that make for a powerful body-based experience. As demonstrated herein, the mimetic journey of a fetus/pilgrim through this womb-tomb expanse elicits a sense of rebirth, which is analogous to reclaiming the land and establishing a “motherly” alternative to the masculine and bellicose disposition in Israel/Palestine.




Conference Program: APHA, Chicago, November 2015

Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, Chicago, 2015

Papers related to Israel:


Daoud, Nihaya. “Challenges for Maternal and Child Health Research in The Bedouin Indigenous Minority In Israel.” November 2, 2015, 8:50am.

This presentation focuses on the challenges and opportunities of maternal and child health research among Indigenous Arab Bedouin mothers in Israel.

Bedouins are Israeli citizens who have been living in the south for many decades. They are Israel’s most economically deprived minority and have poor health status. Bedouin infants have higher morbidity and mortality rates compared to their counterparts.

We conducted this study in 2007-2008 to better understand maternal experiences of infant care while drawing on social-ecological approaches to raise Bedouin mothers’ voices and inform policy and interventions.

Multiple factors embedded in Bedouins’ political and historical context complicate research, mainly land disputes with Israeli governments, changes in societal socioeconomic structure from monadic to semi-urban, and socio-cultural transitions including family structure and gender relations. Israeli governments do not recognize Bedouins as an indigenous minority, 40% of them live in legally unrecognized villages with houses that are continually threatened with demolition. These villages lack basic infrastructure including water, electricity, primary care clinics and social services. Conducting research among Bedouins requires building trust and recognizing their health and human rights while understanding their complex political, historical, and social contexts. Building on local knowledge is crucial and requires outstanding research methods. Other issues include attaining ethics approval, maintaining confidentiality, and overcoming language barriers as mothers lack basic reading and writing skills. Funding opportunities and scholarly publication requires additional effort and time. Recognizing these challenges might provide an opportunity for more advanced research among Bedouins and other indigenous populations.


Shapiro, Ephraim and Irit Elroy. “Mental Health Care Utilization Among the Most Traditionally Religious Jews and Muslims in Israel in an Era of Reform.” November 3, 2015, 2:30pm.

Background: Israel recently implemented mental healthcare system policy reform, with uncertain impact on utilization among subgroups. The most traditionally religious segments of Israeli society, including both Jews and Muslims,  have distinctive attitudes, behaviors and demographics, all of which can impact mental healthcare usage and the reform’s success. Prior research found some underutilization among the most religious Israelis despite universal health insurance ,  for reasons such as stigma,   yet the topic has been understudied.

Research Questions: 1) To what extent do Haredi/ultraorthodox Jews and traditional Arab Muslims in Israel seek and/or receive mental healthcare 2) Do results vary by key subgroups including religion and socioeconomic status?  3)What interventions can potentially be developed to increase use of needed mental health services among religious groups?

Methodology/Results: A random-sample survey of health utilization among all Israelis conducted in 2013 was analyzed. Outcomes included Mental healthcare utilization measures and attitudinal measures related to potential barriers. Religious group was categorized by self-report. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed using health, religious, and socioeconomic factors. Chi-square statistics were produced. Over 2000 Israelis were surveyed including 275 Haredi/ultraorthodox  Jews and 225 traditional Muslims.  Variations were found by some but not all religious and socioeconomic subgroups. In addition, key informant interviews with religious, community and medical leaders were conducted and faith-based intervention opportunities identified

Conclusions:  Culturally-sensitive interventions can potentially be developed to increase appropriate mental health care utilization for religious Israelis. This issue is particularly timely after mental health reform when opportunities to change relevant attitudes and behaviors exist.


Shapira, Stav, Limor Aharonson-Daniel,Yaron Bar-Dayan, Deanna Sykes, and Bruria Adini. “Is Earthquake Preparedness a Generic Achievement? Similarities and Differences between Preparedness of Canadian and Israeli Hospital Personnel.” November 3, 2015, 4:30pm.

Background: Healthcare workers (HCW) willingness to report to work (WTR) during a disaster is essential to implementing an efficient response. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying this matter may contribute to reduced absenteeism in future disasters. Assessing preparedness and WTR in an earthquake scenario, in different social contexts and preparedness approaches (Canada and Israel) may shed light on the complexity of these issues.

Objectives: 1) To assess knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and WTR of HCW in Canada and Israel concerning earthquakes and 2) To evaluate the relationship between these factors and WTR.

Methods: A validated questionnaire including questions about demographic characteristics, knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and WTR in an earthquake scenario was distributed in two tertiary care hospitals located in risk regions, to a random sample of 131 Israeli and 381 Canadian HCW.

Results: Knowledge, perceptions of efficacy, as well as WTR were generally higher among Israeli HCWs. ‘Concern for family’s well-being’ and ‘professional commitment to care’ were reported by the largest proportion of HCW as factors that might influence WTR. Significant predictors of WTR amongst both Israeli and Canadian HCW were the belief that ‘colleagues will also report to work’ and ‘professional commitment’.

Conclusions: Significant differences were found in levels of knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and WTR in an earthquake scenario between Israeli and Canadian HCW. Social and professional solidarity seems to be cross-cultural factors that mitigate other potential barriers to WTR. This may help formulate new methods of improving hospital personnel preparedness to future events.


Shapiro, Ephraim and Rachel Nisanholtz. “Community Nurses and Chronic Disease in Israel, the United States, and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Analysis.” November 4, 2015, 11:00am.

Background: The growing worldwide trend of chronic disease harms not only the public’s health but increases costs. Public health and other community nurses can play important roles in its prevention and control. These nurses can play vital roles in advancing national health system objectives. However, despite this there has been inadequate comparative study of community nurses’ role in preventing and controlling chronic disease.

Objectives: 1)What roles do public health and other community nurses play for  chronic disease prevention and control? 2)What trends and related challenges exist for these nurses in terms of chronic disease prevention and control? 3)How do these nurses’ roles, trends and challenges vary across Israel, the U.S., and the U.K and what lessons can be learned?

Methodology:  Key informant interviews and a comprehensive literature review were performed and themes related to the objectives analyzed. An average of 10 interviews was performed among nursing leaders and/or academic experts in each of the three countries.

Key Findings/Conclusions: The role of nurses in non-hospital settings has grown rapidly; further growth is expected to occur, with variations by type of nurse. They have a multiplicity of roles and can reach a wide variety of groups. There are important implications for reducing health disparities as nurses can play important roles in monitoring social determinants. While there is much overlap, important differences exist between community nurses in different settings; countries can learn from each other’s successes and challenges although contextual differences such as cultural, institutional, and policy and differences need to be understood.


New Article: Maor and Cwikel, Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image

Maor, Maya, and Julie Cwikel. “Mothers’ Strategies to Strengthen Their Daughters’ Body Image.” Feminism & Psychology (early view; online first).


URL: http://dx.doi.og/10.1177/0959353515592899



Existing studies of the mother–daughter relationship have focused mainly on the transfer of negative body image messages or on risk of eating disorders, and have paid little attention to how this relationship might serve as a resource for building body-acceptance or resilience to disordered eating. On the basis of a secondary analysis of four qualitative samples, we examined how mothers and their now-adult daughters reflect on the ways in which the mothers tried to promote positive body image and resilience to body dissatisfaction in their daughters. Using a content analysis, we have identified five strategies: (a) filtering – being cautious and sensitive in communicating about body image issues, (b) transmitting awareness of the dangers of eating disorders, (c) positive reinforcement – providing affirmations in regard to daughters’ bodies; (d) discussion – providing tools for criticism of the dominant body-related social discourse; and (e) positivity – shifting the focus from food, body-size and weight loss to making healthy choices and taking pleasure in food. Identification of these strategies emphasizes the many potential avenues for growth and development inherent in mother–daughter relationships.



New Article: Sher-Censor, Gender Differences in Observed Autonomy and Adolescent-Mother Interactions

Sher-Censor, Efrat. “The Challenges of Israeli Adolescent Girls: Gender Differences in Observed Autonomy and Relatedness in Adolescent-Mother Interactions.” Sex Roles 72.3-4 (2015): 150-62.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-015-0445-5


This study examined gender differences in autonomy and relatedness in adolescent-mother interactions, to evaluate two competing notions. The first, based on social role theory, suggested that girls and their mothers would show lower autonomy and higher relatedness than boys and their mothers. The second, stemming from the psychodynamic perspective, suggested that girls would show higher autonomy than boys, and that girls and their mothers would show lower relatedness than boys and their mothers. Participants were 122 Jewish Israeli mothers and their 16.5 years old adolescents (58.19 % girls) from middle class families residing in northern and central cities in Israel. Dyads were observed during a family disagreement (i.e., a high-conflict condition) and while planning a vacation (i.e., a low-conflict condition). Autonomy and relatedness of each participant in each task were coded using the Individuality and Connectedness Q-sort (Bengston & Grotevant 1999). Our findings indicated that girls displayed higher autonomy than boys across the two conflict conditions. In addition, girls and their mothers showed lower relatedness than boys and their mothers, but only under the high-conflict condition. These results are in line with the notions offered by the psychodynamic perspective. They reveal the unique challenges which Jewish Israeli girls and their mothers may face with respect to autonomy and relatedness, and highlight the importance of assessing autonomy and relatedness under varied conflict conditions.



New Article: Shloim et al, UK and Israeli Women’s Accounts of Motherhood and Feeding

Shloim, N., S, Hugh-Jones, M.C.J Rudolf, R.G. Feltbower, O. Loans, and M. M. Hetherington. “‘It’s like giving him a piece of me’: Exploring UK and Israeli Women’s Accounts of Motherhood and Feeding.” Appetite 95 (2015): 58-66.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2015.06.004




The present study explored how Israeli and UK mothers integrate feeding into their conceptualisations of mothering 2–6 months post-partum.


The nature and importance of motherhood is subject to differential contextual, cultural, political and historical influences. We set out to compare experiences of motherhood and feeding between these two countries using a qualitative approach.


Forty one women (mean age 36.4 ± 2.7 years) from Israel and the UK, mostly married or in a committed relationship were interviewed about their experience of pregnancy, motherhood and feeding. Data were analysed thematically.


The experience of motherhood in the early postnatal period was dominated, for all mothers, by the experience of breastfeeding and clustered around three representations of mothering, namely; 1) a devoted mother who ignores her own needs; 2) a mother who is available for her infant but acknowledges her needs as well; and 3) a struggling mother for whom motherhood is a burden. Such representations existed within both cultural groups and sometimes coexisted within the same mothers. UK women described more struggles within motherhood whereas a tendency towards idealising motherhood was observed for Israeli women.


There are similarities in the ways that UK and Israeli women experienced motherhood and feeding. Where family life is strongly emphasized, mothers reported extremes of idealism and burden and associated an “ideal” mother with a breastfeeding mother. Where motherhood is represented as just one of many roles women take up, they are more likely to represent a “good enough” approach to mothering. Understanding the experience of motherhood and feeding in different cultural settings is important to provide the context for postnatal care specifically where mothers are reluctant to share problems or difficulties encountered.


New Article: Gueta & Addad, Long-Term Recovery of Former Drug-Dependent Israeli Women

Gueta, Keren, and Moshe Addad. “A House of Cards: The Long-Term Recovery Experience of Former Drug-Dependent Israeli Women.” Women’s Studies International Forum 48 (2015): 18-28.


URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2014.10.003



While previous studies on recovery from drug addiction have tended to focus on recovery initiation and treatment issues among men, the primary purpose of this study is to shed light on the experience of long-term recovery among women. For this purpose, we employed qualitative methods and interviewed nine long-term (two to seven years) recovering women. Additionally, we monitored five women for two years of the recovery process in a dual research track (a total of 24 interviews). The research findings indicate that developing recovery capital, including self-awareness, stress-coping strategies, and various social resources (Granfield & Cloud, 1999), can be part of an effective strategy for overcoming long-term recovery challenges while financial difficulties, intrusive memories, motherhood and inability to find leisure activities may hinder it. These results indicate the need to reconsider gender-sensitive therapies in order to help women to not only initiate, but also maintain recovery.