Studies have suggested that in individualistic societies, marriage constitutes an exclusive institution associated with reduced social involvement. This article tests this claim in a society that has experienced increased individualisation but has nevertheless remained highly familial. Analyses based on data from the Israel Social Survey show that married respondents were less involved with friends but more involved with family than their single counterparts. Results further revealed important differences by gender and between Jews and Israeli-Palestinians. No difference by marital status in involvement with kin was found for Israeli-Palestinian women, who also reported the lowest level of involvement with friends. The difference in involvement with friends was more pronounced among Israeli-Palestinians than Jews. Overall, findings indicate that Israeli society provides an interesting case that deviates from both the individualistic and collectivist models. Consistent with the new institutional approach to marriage, this article highlights the limitations of the exclusivity of marriage thesis.
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- Social relationships