Identity repertoires among Arabs in Israel

Muhammad Amara, Izhak Schnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigates the structure and components of the Arab identity repertoire in Israel. We analyse the relative salience of each component and the structural relations among the components. In addition we interpret the meanings associated with each component of the Arab identity repertoire in Israel. Our study differs from traditional investigations of Arab identities in Israel in considering identity as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, and in interpreting the meanings that the respondents assign to the relevant identities. Empirically we find that most Arabs in Israel feel strongly attached to at least three identities, none of them dominating the others. The correlations among the identities are low, meaning that they are only marginally affected by the feasibility of alternative identities and more by the type of practices performed in each respective milieu. In this respect it is interesting to see that the Palestinian identity is not associated with citizenship beyond national pride, while the Israeli identity is expected to supply them with a sense of citizenship. Our finding that different groups constitute for themselves different relations among the components of the identity repertoire suggests that our multi-dimensional model supplies a better explanation for the structure of Arab repertoires of identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-193
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2004

Keywords

  • Arabs in Israel
  • Druze
  • Identity repertoire
  • Palestinians
  • Religion

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