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Abstract

Assessing changes introduced in kibbutz communities, the article presents two possible directions of future developments: re-institutionalization vs decommunalization. De-communalization might end up with the transformation of kibbutzim into conventional communities, losing their communal identity. The path to it leads through the total privatization of the household, the payment of differential salaries and the transition from communal ownership to shareholding. The meaning of re-institutionalization is an adaptation of institutional patterns to changing circumstances, preserving the basic kibbutz principles. An example is the transition from direct supply of goods and services to allocation of monetary budgets, taking into consideration differences of needs. The assessment of the author, based on empirical studies, is that only a minority of kibbutzim choose the direction of de-communalization. The majority search for ways to assure their economic future and how to maintain their egalitarian and cooperative values in conditions of marketization and privatization.

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