Using an ecological perspective, one aspect of the relationship of social distance and physical distance is analyzed in the three largest cities in Israel. The principal aim of the paper is to examine ethnic (country of origin) residential segregation as an indicator of social patterning within the society.

Despite the different demographic, topographical and functional characteristics of the three cities, fairly similar patterns of ethnic segregation are found using the technique of Smallest Space Analysis (SSA-I) to analyze index of dissimilarity matrices. Patterns of ethnic segregation are then related to the SES of sub-quarters to determine the nature of the internal structure of the cities.

It is suggested that ethnicity is an important variable in the process of social stratification in urban Israel, at least insofar as ecological relationships are concerned.

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