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"Spheres of Justice" in the Israeli Kibbutz and Urban Sectors: Adolescents' Views

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

The current study suggests that, in order to enhance our understanding of the dynamics of the "local" system of distributive justice in the Israeli kibbutz, we need to examine its links to the broader society and its correspondent conceptions of justice. Following the notion of "spheres of justice" and using data gathered in 1986, prior to the accelerated de-communalization of the kibbutz, these dynamics are examined by comparing the social justice judgments of kibbutz and urban adolescents. This comparison unveiled a shared pattern in justice systems in which both kibbutz and urban adolescents favor differentiation of particularistic resources (prestige and power) more strongly than differentiation of universalistic resources (learning opportunities and money). At the same time, the comparison also highlighted the distinctive features of the kibbutz's local justice system of stronger differentiation of prestige, the most particularistic resource, and of economic equality, the most universalistic resource. The kibbutz's distinctive system of distributive justice can be attributed to its communal structure, which has been often characterized by the coexistence of egalitarian and equitarian distributive mechanisms.


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