Arab industrialization in Israel: Ethnic entrepreneurship in the periphery

Itzhak Shnell, Michael Sofer, Israel Drori

Research output: Book / ReportBookAcademicpeer-review


Previous studies of industrial activity in Arab settlements in Israel have been less than comprehensive. We believe that the lack of interest and data on Arab industry stems from the fact that no real effort has ever been made to further the economic development of these settlements in general and their industrial development in particular. For their economic base, the majority of Arab settlements continue to rely largely on commuting to Jewish employment centers. Nevertheless, over time, industrial entrepreneurship has emerged in Arab settlements. It is against this background that the importance of our work can be seen, for it presents, for the first time and at first hand, a thorough analysis of entrepreneurship and industrialization in the Arab sector in Israel. ֱֱArab industrial entrepreneurship in Israel is a unique phenomenon. Most previous studies have examined entrepreneurship among the ethnic minorities which, in recent years, have migrated to the metropolitan centers of developed countries. Israeli Arabs constitute an endogenous ethnic minority which is in transition from a traditional culture, based on a domestic economy, to a modern culture, which is becoming integrated into an advanced capitalist system dominated by a Jewish majority. Moreover, they inhabit highly homogeneous and segregated regions in the national periphery. They are therefore forced to overcome three complementary sets of obstacles in their integration into the larger economy and their attempt to industrialize: lack of experience and expertise in advanced forms of production and marketing; ethnic marginality; and socio-spatial peripherality. ֱWe believe the contribution of this book to be fourfold: (1) It is based on a unique case study which may expand the range of case studies available for comparative cross-cultural research; (2) it presents new theoretical formulations regarding issues that remain unresolved in the current literature on ethnic entrepreneurship; (3) it is grounded in intensive field research; and (4) it offers possible guidelines for constructive policy. ֱIt is particularly significant that the Institute of Israeli Arab Studies took it upon itself to promote this study.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
PublisherGreenwood Publishing Group
Number of pages204
ISBN (Print) 978-0275948566
Publication statusPublished - 1995

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