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Abstract

This article deals with one specific kibbutz whose location in central Israel exposes it to the atmosphere of capitalism and individualism, prevailing in adjacent urban centers. I began an anthropological study of kibbutz "GimmelResh" (alias) during the second half of the 1960s, observing it during a successful transition from a purely agricultural to an agro-industrial-based economy. By the 1970s it was known for being highly industrialized, as well as prosperous (Kressel, 1974; 1983). I resumed my observations at GimmelResh in Autumn 1987, as it was facing severe economic crisis. As of now, the kibbutz is deep in debt. It faces the dilemma whether to close down some of its industrial plants due to lack of manpower, thus foregoing income and incurring further debts, or to force members to work wherever required in the kibbutz. This however goes contrary to the emerging trend of letting the members decide upon their vocation and choose their place of work. My article relates the story of the two conflicting vogues.

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