Our research explores how Ethiopian Jews in Israel apply local and global cultural resources when forming their reactive strategies to stigmatization. Drawing on 40 in-depth interviews with adult men and women, we examine class variations in the destigmatization strategies of working-class and middle-class Ethiopian Jews. Working-class Ethiopian Jews rely on their local bounded identity, that of Jews, rather than identity politics, which stresses phenotype in formulating destigmatization strategies. The former provide is Ethiopians of all classes with the network of meaning necessary for active participation in the broader society, whereas the latter is primarily the province of a small number of highly educated middle-class individuals, those who had access to social networks of highly educated liberals and could mobilize valued global black cultural resources (e.g. music, art) to their advantage in the local context.
- network of meaning