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Building blocks of emotional attachment: understanding the development of emotional intimacy between Israeli secular Jewish mothers and their children

Poll, Alexandra (2019) Building blocks of emotional attachment: understanding the development of emotional intimacy between Israeli secular Jewish mothers and their children. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Through the utilisation of narrative research and semi-structured interviews this research explores the perceptions, values and beliefs held by eight Israeli secular Jewish mothers living in a society which centralises the family unit and its loyalty and commitment to its members. These are located alongside a strong belief in gender equality and an allegiance to the security of the state of Israel, culminating in a positioning of the role of the Israeli Jewish mother as central both to the family and to the Jewish state. This research, positioned within Vygotsky’s social development theory and Bowlby’s attachment theory, which signify the importance of reciprocal interactions between mother and child, aims to identify aspects of Israeli culture which may contribute to the formation of attachment between mother and child. The aim is to identify if, of the traditions, beliefs and customs identified in this research, there are any such features which can be taken out of their Israeli context and be utilised by practitioners working within educational settings supporting parents on issues relating to the attachment formations with their children. By applying a thematic analysis to the transcripts, findings revealed the complexities which exist for the Israeli secular Jewish mother participating in this research and the conflicts, tensions and pressures she faces living in a society in which the ‘lengthening shadows’ of the Holocaust (Elon, 2010, p.232), the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict and shifts in societal values play an important role in understanding society’s expectations. Findings highlight the significance of the ‘dugri’ (open and honest) style of talk which exists in Israeli society and the open discussion of conflicts which result in reflectiveness and confident parenting. Furthermore, they emphasise the profundity of the human commitment and emotional bond between mother and child and suggest that to better understand the nature of this bond requires an outlook which expands beyond the realm of attachment theory; an outlook which embraces and signifies the sociocultural and historical experiences which shape this emotional and intimate bond.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: Attachment, Narrative, Emotional intimacy, Israeli culture
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.778838
Depositing User: Dr Alexandra Poll
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2019 13:11
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:08
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/24363

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