Between Welfare and Cost-Efficiency: Globalization and the Transformation of Israel’s Work-Family Regime
Mon, March 18, 2013 • 11:00 AM • CLA 1.302B
A talk by Dr. Michal Frenkel, (Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
Commonly seen as the last major obstacle before the equal integra-tion of women into the labor market in the last two decades, the conflict between work and family has been a primary concern for states, employers, and employees. State and organizational policies aimed at reconciling the two have been developed, institutionalized and transferred across national boundaries, promoted by multina-tional corporations and international organizations. The result has been the emergence of somewhat contradictory institutional logics around the development and implementation of work-family practic-es: the logic of welfare, stressing the need to help workers balance their work and family needs to secure family and children’s well-being, and the logic of cost efficiency, stressing the contribution of better balanced policies to economic growth and prosperity at the state level, and to the better performance of the implementing or-ganization.
Being a family oriented and a pronatalist society, the state and em-ployers in Israel have implemented family-friendly policies since the establishment of the state in 1948. In recent years, however, with the growing exposure to economic and cultural globalization, the logic underlying the implementation of these practices has changed from that of welfare to that of cost-efficiency. This lecture follows the transformation of work-family practices and the discourse sur-rounding their introduction by the state and in the Israeli high tech industry. It traces the transformation of the institutional logic and its ambiguous social consequences for workers, their families and for Israeli society in general.