Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Book: The Social Order and the Code of Informality

Recently a new book has been published on Informal behavior and education that is a homage to the work of the late scholar Reuven Kahane. Professor Kahane was an exceptional thinker that has inspired many generations of students and researchers and has been known, among other things, for his empirical study and theoretical scholarship on informal behavior and informal education. I should add that I have been honored to be one of his students.

For professor Kahane, informal behavior is an integral part of the social order. This can be seen in his numerous articles and his 1997 book (in collaboration with Tamar Rapoport) The Origins of Postmodern Youth and is reflected in the new collection (2012) edited by his son, Professor Ahuvia Kahane, and his first PhD student, Professor Tamar Rapoport. Together with a renowned group of students and scholars this new collection has been launched entitled The Social Order and the Code of Informality (in Hebrew, Tel-Aviv, Resling Publishing)

The books' collection of manuscripts entertain a large array of social arenas that are analyzed through professor Kahane's unique lens and/or in an intellectual dialogue with it. This includes social activities: excursions, dance, school ceremonies; different social groups (ultra Orthodox Jews, former participants of youth movements in Latin America, Palestinian youngsters) and more. For my part I added a paper on Online trust and the code of informality among Israeli Youth.

Finally I should add that the publishing of this book attests not only to the powerful theoretical tools that Kahane's legacy bequests but also to the attention that Israeli scholars have given to the field of informality. Kahane's teacher, the late Professor S. N. Eisenstadt, has contributed to this volume. Also, the late Professor Diana Silberman – Keller, a committed scholar in informal education, added a manuscript before her untimely demise. My hope is that the legacy of professor Kahane persists and that scholars in Israel and beyond continue to use these tools and others to advance the understanding of informal modes of behavior and education.