Facing Poverty: The Experience of the "Working-Poor" in Israel

Duration of Research: 2008-2010

Funding Agency: National Insurance Institute of Israel

Roni Strier (P.I.)
Zvi Eisikovits (P.I.)
Eli Buchbinder (P.I.)
Laura Sigad (Research Coordinator)

Scientific Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to describe and analyze the experience of individuals who work (paid employment) and live in poverty in light of contextual variations related to ethnicity, gender and religion. Several dimensions of the poverty experience in Israel are explored, including the ways in which poverty is defined, experienced and justified by different groups. The study will highlight the common coping strategies used by families to face daily difficulties and challenges, examine participants' view of waged employment as a way to break the cycle of poverty and the ways in which families in poverty construct the role of social services as well as state level interventions and assistance in light of the needs of the poor. The study is aimed at developing a grounded theoretical model of 'working poverty' which takes into account the population diversity of individuals who work and live in poverty. The large sample (by qualitative research standards) and the comparative design that covers a variety of sub-populations enables the researchers to account for socio-cultural differences and to give voice to a wide variety of people living in poverty in Israel.


  • Strier, R., Eisikovits, Z., Sigad, L., Buchbinder, E. (2015). "Working men's views of poverty: Ethnic perspectives". Men and Masculinities. pp. 1-23. DOI: 10.1177/1097184X15613829.

  • Buchbinder, E., Sigad, L., Strier, R., Eisikovits, Z. (2015) "Working poor Ultra-Orthodox Jewish women and men: Between economic distress and meaningfulness based on faith". Journal of Poverty, 00:1–22 . DOI: 10.1080/10875549.2014.999971.

  • Strier, R., Sigad, L., Eisikovits, Z. Buchbinder, E. (2014). Masculinity, poverty, and work: The multiple constructions of work among working poor men. Journal of Social Policy, 43(2), 331-349.