Two Social Representations Studies of One Social Group: Social and Methodological Aspects

  • Dina Friling Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel
  • Bilha Paryente Achva Academic College, Israel
Keywords: religious zionist movement, social representations, identity, conflict, mandatory military service, polyphasia


This paper brings together two separate studies that investigated identity representations of

members of a minority group in Israeli society known as Religious Zionists. The studies were

carried out by different researchers a decade apart, so that each was influenced by a different

social context. Each researcher adopted Emda Orr's approach to social research that urges using

SR theory to enhance understanding of social issues in Israel and pinpoint possible applications

of such understanding. The paper highlights similarities and differences in the findings of these

two researchers who used different methodologies to examine issues of group identity in

general and identity of Religious Zionists in particular. We believe that because of their

inherent differences, the two studies can be usefully presented in tandem to provide a wider and

more complex picture of the group's social representations and illuminate their identity

negotiating process. In conclusion we consider implications of this methodology of bringing

such different studies together for identity issues and for social representations theory.

Author Biographies

Dina Friling, Kaye Academic College of Education, Israel

DINA FRILING lives with her family in a small village in the Israeli Negev desert. Her doctoral

thesis is based on Social Representations Theory exploring the symbolic world of Israeli parents

to combat soldiers within distinct Israeli social groups, and she took part in the Israeli SRT group

at the Education Department of Ben-Gurion University. She published a number of papers in

Hebrew and English on SRT as well as on Teacher Education topics and serves as a member of

ACE (Active Collaborative Education), a teacher education program for university graduates and

a lecturer in the MA program for school counselors at Kaye Academic Collage of Education in

Beer Sheva, Israel. Additional research interests: professional development of teachers instructor

and school counselors.

Bilha Paryente, Achva Academic College, Israel

BILHA PARYENTE lives with her husband and five children in a small village in the northern

part of the Israeli Negev. Her doctoral thesis was based on Social representations Theory, and she

took part in the Israeli SRT group. She published a number of papers in Hebrew and English and

serves as the head of the Child Development's Department in the Achva Academic College,

Israel .