Subordinate by Choice? Minority Ethnic Identity as Cultural Resource in the Israeli Middle Class View Full Text


Ontology type: schema:ScholarlyArticle     


Article Info

DATE

2022-08-24

AUTHORS

Guy Abutbul-Selinger

ABSTRACT

This article examines ethnic identification among minority middle-class subjects in a novel way, centering on adolescents from Mizrahi (descendants of Jewish immigrants from Middle East and North Africa) families. Guided by liberal assumptions—that proper social order is achieved when individuals interact free from hierarchies—US literature on race and ethnicity has conceptualized ethnic identification by minorities either as a political strategy to resist subordination, or as an act of submission to structures that compel minorities to internalize a stigmatized identity, which then impairs integration into middle-class culture. Similarly, Israeli literature examining middle-class Mizrahim tends to characterize Mizrahi ethnic identification as an act of submission that engenders an internal conflict between ethnic and middle-class status. This study, however, rather than employing a top-down approach to explain the causes of minority ethnic identification, focuses on the meaning adolescents themselves attribute to their ethnicity. Based on interviews with middle-class Mizrahi adolescents, this work uncovers a world of meaning within the middle class in which Mizrahi identity is associated with positive characteristics such as hipness and authenticity, serving, therefore, to improve adolescents’ self-confidence and social status among their peers. By revealing the existence of spaces that do not conform to the liberal logic, wherein a stigmatized ethnicity is not a burden but rather a valuable cultural resource granting belonging and privileges, this study contributes to the literature of ethnicity, showing that minority ethnic identification is not necessarily an act of resistance or submission. More... »

PAGES

1-20

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1007/s12108-022-09545-0

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12108-022-09545-0

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1150460745


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