Social work and the construction of poverty in Palestine in the 1930s

Mimi Ajzenstadt, John Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article traces the construction of poverty in case reports produced by social workers, who investigated the needs of nearly 500 clients of soup kitchens in Palestine during the 1930s. Ideas expressed in the reports reflected both the tenets of Zionist ideology and dominant social work thinking in the Weimar Republic, where most of the social workers were trained. The reports offer rich evidence of the ways in which notions about the poor, poverty and the role of social workers were historically and culturally constructed and designed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-169
Number of pages16
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2014.


  • Soup kitchen
  • poverty
  • scientific social work
  • social construction


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