Research field: Disadvantaged groups in Israeli society

Poor people – There is widespread poverty in Israel. One of Naomi Carmon’s first studies dealt with the Culture of Poverty, its existence and meaning in Israel. While the empirical study found that a Culture of Poverty, as characterized by Oscar Lewis, did exist in Israel, as opposed to Lewis, this culture was not necessarily transmitted from generation to generation (Carmon 1985–E). Naomi’s other studies, and mainly the major research collection that addresses Project Renewal (see above), deal with poor and slum neighborhoods and evaluates deliberate efforts to alleviate poverty and improve the housing and services for poor residents.

Elderly people – All the developed countries are concerned with their rapidly growing aging population and the provision of planned responses for the special wishes and needs of their elder citizens. A post-occupancy evaluation study by Naomi and a graduate student included identification of the needs and wishes of elder inhabitants in a senior citizens’ home and found a discrepancy between the perceptions of the inhabitants and the perceptions of the planners. While the planners imparted great importance to the public spaces in the senior citizens’ home and allocated large spaces and many resources for these, the elder inhabitants rarely used these public areas. On the other hand, the elder residents complained about the minimization of the private space in their housing, the area in which they spent most of their evenings and nights, as well as a large part of their day (Eyal-Elimilech and Carmon 1993-H; Carmon 1996-E).

Israeli Arabs – Among the theses that Naomi supervised, more than a few focused on Arab citizens of the country: the loyalty to the clan (Hamula) and its influence on the dispersion of housing in Arab settlements (Liora Erlich-Hai’s thesis, 1995); residents’ participation – various ages –  in the planning of their Arab village (Jacob Yonish’s thesis, 1992); social services for Arab youth in Nazareth (Samahir Abu-Sharkia Doula’s thesis, 2001); migration of Arabs to Jewish development towns: the case of Nazareth Ilit (Hana Haj Yichya thesis, 2003); and the attitudes of the Jewish population in the Galilee towards their Arab neighbors and Arabs in Israel (Yiftachel and Carmon 1997–E).

Two of the studies relate to Arabs that live between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River, outside of Israel. One addresses place attachment of Palestinians, who are residents of east Jerusalem (Muhammad Kimmeri thesis, 2005–E). The second one was Yosef Jabareen’s doctoral dissertation that included a comprehensive empirical study of Gaza city. Here, the theoretical concepts of “culturally sustainable development”, “space of trust” and “community of trust” were investigated and conceptualized. Practical recommendations concerning the planning of housing in traditional communities were made (Jabareen and Carmon 2010-E).

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