This article provides a review of family patterns and life- styles within Israeli society consisting of trends in marriage, divorce and fertility, dating, mate selection, marital relationships, and marital dissolu- tion. Additional topics consist of parenting and the place and role of chil- dren in families, elderly and their families, gender issues, division of labor, power in families, and the impact of stress on Israeli families. Major trends are presented and analyzed by adopting a hybrid comparative perspective: a vertical perspective, which examines changes in family patterns over the past five decades, and a horizontal perspective, which examines different family patterns among various socioethnic groups. This analysis indicates that the family is being pulled in opposite directions by two main forces: one that prods the family toward greater modernization and Westernalization, while the other acts to strengthen traditional values. Despite some conver- gence among different socioethnic groups, marked differences are prevalent within these groups in every aspect of family life, thus maintaining a vast diversity in family patterns and lifestyles.
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