Found in Transition: An Acculturation Narrative of Immigration from the Former Soviet Union to Israel

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Abstract

This article presents a personal narrative exemplifying acculturation processes and their theoretical analysis. The author describes the development of his Jewish identity in the Soviet Union, emigration, and adjustment to Israel. The author's affiliations with his ethnic group, the country of origin, and the country of immigration are described and analyzed as an ever-changing process. The role of family and society in creating a multifaceted ethnic identity is discussed. The validity of the theories on ethnic identity development (Camilleri & Malewska-Peyre, 1997; Phinney, 1990), acculturation (Berry, 1997), and the theories of culture shock and cultural learning (Ward, Bochner, & Furnham, 2001) are tested in light of the acculturation narrative presented here. The author argues that acculturation is a multidimensional process, which relates to the ethnic group, the homeland, and the receiving country. Each of these dimensions has its own dynamic of change in the process of immigration, which depends on the circumstances of the immigrants' adjustment first in the homeland and after that in the receiving country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-363
Number of pages15
JournalCulture and Psychology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Russia
  • acculturation
  • cultural practices
  • ethnic identity

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