The role of individualistic versus collectivist values in shaping the residential choice of Palestinian knowledge-workers

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Housing preferences in the Middle East are largely family-oriented. With the increase in the number of university graduates who have experienced life outside traditional Arab settings, housing preferences are arguably changing toward a more western career-centered orientation. Yet familial allegiances have not disappeared. This study hypothesizes that residential preferences of Middle-Eastern knowledge-workers differ from their Western counterparts. We offer a new value-based conceptual framework for analyzing the residential preferences of knowledge-workers from communities with a history of tribal belonging, tight kinship structures, and strong familial ties in determining residential choice. The analyzed case study focuses on young Palestinian knowledge-workers preferences between traditional housing in the hometown and medium-density neighborhoods in larger cities. The new conceptual framework explores the role of individualistic values (i.e., career, privacy, lifestyle) versus collectivist values (i.e., family and community life), urban amenities, and the perceived locus of opportunities. The framework offers an alternative to the current practice assessing knowledge-workers residential preferences solely based on individualistic values and location amenities. The framework is validated using a multiple-indicators, multiple-causes (MIMIC) model estimated with a sample of Israeli-Palestinian knowledge-workers in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102516
JournalHabitat International
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Condominium buildings
  • Knowledge-workers
  • Middle eastern cities
  • Neighborhood attractiveness
  • Palestinian society
  • Residential preferences

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urban Studies


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