Postdoctoral fellowship: Changing Intimate Relationships: An Israel-UK Comparison - Tel Aviv University

Activity: OtherPostdoctoral Fellowship


A first step toward understanding the association between women's attempts to change the domestic division of labour in their households and their attempts to change spousal communication in their relationships, is offered by this comparative study. The conditions under which married women in the UK and in Israel will attempt to initiate change in their intimate relationships and the relative effectiveness of those initiatives are examined within both institutional and cultural contexts. The study examines the possibility that institutional forces such as the availability of state-subsidised day care facilities and ideological forces such as familiarity with therapeutic ideas are important factors in shaping the context in which women initiate processes of change in their intimate relationships. Two compatible samples of employed, married, mostly middle-class women from Israel and the UK are compared regarding their attempts to increase their partners' participation in domestic tasks and their communicative co-operation. The findings indicate that Israeli women, who operate in a context that recognises their status as 'working mothers', tend to perceive their employment as more legitimate than do the UK women and feel more entitled to challenge existing domestic practices. The findings support the possibility that familiarity with therapeutic ideas is related to more effective attempts to change either domestic arrangements or spousal communication patterns.
Held atTel Aviv University, Israel