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Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in IsraelOr, How the Polish Peddler Became a German Intellectual$
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Aziza Khazzoom

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756976

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756976.001.0001

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Cultural Capital

Cultural Capital

(p.127) Chapter Seven Cultural Capital
Shifting Ethnic Boundaries and Inequality in Israel
Stanford University Press

This chapter uses Israel's 1961 census to determine whether Mizrahim could increase their returns to education if they had had characteristics that were read as western in Jewish discourses. These “western” characteristics are conceptualized as cultural capital, but capital that signals progress on a shared project of cultural change rather than an upper-class background. The chapter shows that the Iraqi paradox occurred because more Iraqi individuals were able to demonstrate progress on Jewish cultural change projects than individuals from Morocco or Yemen. It concludes that perceived westernness and easternness was an important driving force in the treatment of Mizrahi immigrants in the 1950s, and because only Mizrahim had to prove westernness, the binary categories did have salience in the labor market.

Keywords:   Israel, 1961 census, Mizrahim, Iraqi paradox, Jewish cultural change, westernness, cultural capital

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