Strangers in the Kibbutz: Volunteer Workers in an Israeli Community



Bowes A (1980) Strangers in the Kibbutz: Volunteer Workers in an Israeli Community. Man, 15 (4), pp. 665-681.

The position of the volunteer workforce in an Israeli kibbutz is examined  in terms of Simmel's observation that strangers are both part of the community and separate from it. It is argued that the volunteers are in fact essential to the very existence of  the kibbutz. Analysis of the place of the kibbutz in the Israeli socio-economic formation and the nature of kibbutz ideology shows how the volunteer workforce is created. Social interaction within the kibbutz across the volunteer-kibbutznik boundary is found to be determined by a set of structural contradictions. Four case studies show the operation of the boundary in everyday life, the ways in which it can be used as a resource, and a sequence of events which brought the contradictions underlying the position of the strangers dramatically to the fore is assessed.

Man: Volume 15, Issue 4

Publication date31/12/1980
PublisherRoyal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland

People (1)


Professor Alison Bowes
Professor Alison Bowes

Professor, Dementia and Ageing