טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentOrit Palnizky
SubjectCross Cultural Differences in Coping with Unemployment
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Mr. Harel Gedaliahu (Deceased)


Abstract

The current research suggests a model for coping with unemployment, which combines cultural patterns (individualism and collectivism), Meaning Of Work (MOW) patterns (work centrality and societal norms) and individual differences. A general proposition is made here that the effect of ethnicity (Jews versus Arabs) and culture (Israeli Jews versus Israeli Jews who immigrated from the Former Soviet Union - FSU) will be mainly reflected in specific areas in one’s life, such as the meaning of work and coping resources, and will, therefore, be reflected in one’s coping styles with unemployment (problem- focused and symptom- focused coping styles). Questionnaires were distributed randomly in seven governmental employment bureaus in northern Israel, in year 2000. Target respondents were 625 Israeli Arabs, Israeli Jews who immigrated from the FSU and Israeli Jews.  The Israeli Arab culture was found to be high in collectivistic culture dimensions. The veteran Israeli Jews culture and the Israeli Jews who immigrated from the FSU culture were found to have highly individualistic culture dimensions. The findings indicate that in collectivistic cultures there is high use of symptom-focused coping style, while in individualistic cultures there is high use of problem-focused coping style. We found high levels of problem-focused coping style among Israeli Jews and Israeli Jews who immigrated from the FSU, versus Israeli Arabs who were characterized by infrequent use of this style. In addition to this, we found that Israeli Arabs demonstrated the highest degree of symptom-focused coping style, followed by Israeli Jews and Israeli Jews who immigrated from the FSU, respectively. Amongst MOW variables we found that respondents with high MOW dimensions used high levels of problem-focused coping style. Amongst demographic variables we found that work centrality increases commensurately with the amount of education and with the amount of age. We found high levels of symptom-focused coping style among singles and divorced. We found high levels of problem-focused coping style among married people. We found that problem-focused coping style increases with education and with earning level. The 29 to 49 age group had the highest levels of problem-focused coping style. A significant and positive correlation between problem-focused coping style and symptom-focused coping style, imply that these two coping styles are complementary. From the path analysis it appears that this research does not succeed in showing MOW to be a full moderator between culture and coping. This research provides a crucial step in the coping literature by combining micro and macro psychological variables such as culture and coping in one model. The findings may provide a new direction to treating and preventing this severe social phenomenon, such as the design and implementation of government sponsored assistance and prevention programs, targeted at each member of cultural group in specific areas where their culture is lacking.