The story of women immigrants from FSU and their integration into Israeli academia

Victoria Kot, Katerina Bodovski, Miri Yemini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The under-representation of minorities at senior levels in academia has received some research attention in recent years. However, the experience of immigrant women from the former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israeli academia has not been examined. These women are mostly from a generation known as the ‘1.5 generation’ who immigrated to Israel as children. This study focuses on the intersection of immigration and gender that shape the lives and careers of the 1.5 generation women currently employed as senior academics in Israel. Using the theoretical framework of capital, Bourdieu’s concepts of cultural and social capital, as well as Borjas’ ethnic capital, we analyzed twenty in-depth interviews to examine the perception of these women, their life story, and their professional integration into Israeli academia. We identified two focal points that fostered their success–(1) the Soviet heritage- selective adoption of ethnic capital, encompassing cultural and social capital of an ethnic group and (2) role models within and outside the family often based on ethnicity. We discuss the obstacles faced by minorities in attempting integration into selective professional guilds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-100
Number of pages22
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • academia
  • ethnic capital
  • immigration
  • minorities


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