Dissecting life with a Jewish scalpel: A qualitative analysis of Jewish-centered family life

Maureen P. Semans, Linda Stone Fish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article highlights findings from a qualitative analysis of the ways in which Jewish families identify how Judaism influences their lives. A theoretical sample of two religious and two cultural families were chosen from a larger sample of 48 Jewish families in Central New York. The qualitative part of this study, which was part of a larger multimethod investigation, was done in order to gather inductively any data that would allow the researchers to build a theory about a particular type of ethnic identity - Jewish identity - and how it affects family dynamics. Eleven categories emerged from this study, which suggest that this particular type of ethnic identity influences many family dynamics, for example, styles of communicating, parenting, values, and family rituals. The participants seem to dissect the world with a "Jewish scalpel." This "scalpel" informs their daily interactions, their parenting styles, and their childrens' self-perceptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-139
Number of pages19
JournalFamily Process
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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