Immigrant identity of Israeli adolescents from Ethiopia and the former USSR: culture-specific principles of organization

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Abstract

The study examines how a sample of 210 high-school immigrant students (ages 14–15) from Ethiopia and the former USSR socially represent their notion of what klitat aliyah (successful adaptation to Israel) means. Prevalent relevant theories—Berry's model of Acculturation Tendencies (BAT), Social Identity Theory (SIT) and Social Comparison Theory (SCT)—suggest three kinds of patterns by which minority or socially weak groups deal with these kinds of situations. These underlying patterns were tested by a 47-item questionnaire (with a 4-point Likert-like scale), constructed from immigrant narratives regarding their klitat aliyah according to SIT, SCT and BAT categories of adaptation strategies. A Guttman non-parametric Similarity Structure Analysis (SSA) revealed four-facet organization of items for both males and females in both sub-samples. These facets, which reflected social representations of Israeli society, were dubbed: Extended Identity, Rivalry Identity, Secluded Identity and Identity Loss. Results did not confirm the underlying categorization of strategies suggested by SIT and SCT, and partially replicated those suggested by BAT. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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