Co-Optation, Competition and Resistance: Mediation and Divorce Professionals in Israel
Posted: 26 Jun 2017 Last revised: 13 Jan 2020
Date Written: 2007
English Abstract: This paper investigates the development of family mediation in Israel within the theoretical framework of the competition between professions (Abbott, 1988; Shamir, 1993), and the co-optation model of Coy and Hedeen (2005). It describes the formal institutionalization of family mediation in Israel and examines the claims made by lawyers, therapeutic mediators, and lawyer-mediators about the nature and boundaries of their professional enterprise and their goals and practices. Based on 254 questionnaires, semi-structured taped interviews and professional documents, our study found differences in the way the professionals construct the nature of the competition over mediation. While lawyers describe mediators as invading their realm of divorce practice, therapeutic professionals view mediation as a new ﬁeld of knowledge which they are claiming as their own, in competition with legal professionals. Moreover, although elements of Coy and Hedeen’s (2005) co-optation model were useful in describing the developing relationship between the divorce professionals, we found different strategies of resistance at each stage of the process.
Keywords: family law, mediation
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