The Palestinian Middle Class: A Research into the Confusion of Identity, Authority and Culture


The book explores the condition of the new middle class in the West Bank and Gaza, especially after the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority on parts of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967. The author reviews the methodological problems raised by such a research in the Palestinian special case, then discusses the determinants of the Palestinian middle class, the mechanisms that produced it, and how it was affected by the rise of the Palestinian Authority. He also deals with the circumstances of its development and its relations to other social classes and categories. The methodology is multifaceted; it combines many research instruments, chief among which is interviewing a wide range of personalities representing this social class and/or in direct contact with it. In light of these data the author discusses the political and intellectual manifestations of the Palestinian middle class and probes the image it holds of itself, the way it defines its role, and the manner it presents itself.

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About the Author(s)

Jamil HILAL is a sociologist and author. He wrote a number of books and articles. Following are some titles: "Israel's Economic Strategy for the Middle East", "The Palestinian Political System after Oslo", and "The Formation of the Palestinian Elite". He also has many contributions in Arab and foreign periodicals. He is currently co-editor of "Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyah".


Institute for Palestine Studies and Muwatin, The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy
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Language: Arabic
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