Social Representations of "Successful Adaptation to Israel" Among Adolescent Immigrants and Their Host Peers

  • Adi Mana Peres Academic Center, Israel
Keywords: social representations, social identity, acculturation, immigration, adolescents, Israel



In this study we investigate the contents and organisational principles through which immigrant adolescents from Ethiopia and Russian and their host peers construct their identity strategies leading to "successful adaptation" of immigrants in Israel. The research question was tested within a representative sample of 854 (495 girls) high school students from the host society, 531 (326 girls) students who were born in Russia and 241 (148 girls) students from the Ethiopian community. The questionnaire consisted of identity strategies from social identity theory and from Berry's model of acculturation tendencies. The results from non-Linear Small-Space Analysis revealed four representations shared by immigrants and non immigrants regarding successful immigrant adaptation: extended, rivalry, secluded and assimilative. Extended adaptation was represented by all as dominant, whereas assimilative adaptation was stronger among non-immigrants; the longer the time since immigration, that of the immigrants' representations of "successful adaptation" became more similar to that of non immigrants. The discussion focuses on the contribution of the theory of social representations and the findings of our study to a better understanding of immigration in the Israeli context.

Author Biography

Adi Mana, Peres Academic Center, Israel

ADI MANA, PhD, Senior lecturer at Peres Academic Center, Israel. Emda Orr was my supervisor for my M.A and PhD dissertations and became a colleague and a very good friend. Under Emda’s supervision I developed an integrative model of adaptation strategies, and we investigated this model together among several minority groups in the Israeli society (immigrants from Ethiopia, Russia, Argentina and Bedouins-Arabs). After she left us, I continue to develop this model among other groups and social contexts (Christian and Muslim Palestinians; Palestinians in Israel and in the West Bank).