Prof. Barbara Okun

Barbara Okun
Social Sciences
The Department of Sociology and Anthropology Room 4521


Since my arrival in Israel from Princeton University in 1992, my research agenda has focused largely on family and social demography in Israel, as well as on certain aspects of social stratification in Israel. My formal training and research approach have been primarily in demography and my research has focused on four broad, overlapping areas: (1) fertility and family change; (2) marriage patterns and their social consequences; (3) educational attainment and inequality; and (4) family and women’s work. Within these four very general areas, my research has been empirical and quantitative in nature, and has utilized a variety of large, quantitative data sets for the purposes of analyzing the interrelationships between social and economic factors and demographic behavior, primarily, but not exclusively, in the population of Israel.


In most of my writing, I highlight the fascinating case that Israel presents as a demographic laboratory, influenced by an extraordinary history of migration and population change. At the same time, my research has illustrated how social issues in Israel can be examined in order to address theoretical concerns that are not unique to this country. In many of my articles, I attempt to challenge accepted theories in the literature on the basis of detailed empirical evidence which often goes against what one might think intuitively. I also attempt to put an emphasis on the documentation of empirical facts, trends, and differentials, which serve as a basis for a better understanding of the demography and sociology of population processes.

Link to CV.