“Perceived neighbourhood” and tolerance relations: The case of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa, Israel

Ran Goldblatt, Itzhak Omer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the complex social reality of mixed ethnic residential areas, as reflected in drawn perceived neighbourhoods of Jews and Arabs living in homogenous and mixed neighbourhoods in Jaffa, Tel Aviv. Through in-depth interviews conducted among 89 Jaffa's residents, it illustrates how different perceptions about the residential area and its residents (including attitudes, emotions, feeling of fear/safety, collective identity and tolerant relations) are reflected in the form, size and consensus area of residents' perceived neighbourhoods. The study finds a clear association between tolerant attitudes and the size and consensus area of the perceived neighbourhoods. Arabs perceive their neighbourhood as significantly larger than Jews do and are characterised by a larger consensus area. These findings are explained by the Arab's strong social cohesion, common national identity, rootedness in Jaffa, as well as by tolerant attitudes towards Jaffa's Jewish population. The study demonstrates the interrelation between the spatial, social and perceptual dimensions associated with the mixed residential area, and illustrates how these dimensions are reflected in drawn perceived neighbourhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-572
Number of pages18
JournalLocal Environment
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 3 May 2016

Keywords

  • Functional space
  • Jaffa
  • Mixed neighbourhood
  • Perceived neighbourhood
  • Tolerance relations

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