Continuity and discontinuity of violent and nonviolent behavior: Toward a classification of male adolescent immigrants from the former soviet union in Israel

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Abstract

This article examines the perceptions of male adolescent immigrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and what accounts for their using or refraining from violence. A grounded theoretical classification of four groups relating to continuity and discontinuity of violent and nonviolent behavior is presented and reasons provided for these behaviors in the host country, compared with the country of origin. Each group is described and analyzed by inductive parameters relating to self-perception, immigration, attitudes toward violence, and identification and acceptance of norm differences. Findings are based on semi structured interviews with 40 male adolescents who immigrated from the FSU to Israel. Youth who have immigrated due to ideological reasons, had control over the decision to emigrate, or were able to identify norm differences between the two countries adjusted well and were nonviolent in the receiving country. Youth whose families immigrated due to pragmatic considerations, who had little or no control over the decision to emigrate, had difficulty adjusting, or preferred to live by the norms they were used to in the FSU tended to be involved in violent behavior. The findings are presented in a grounded theoretical model and discussed in the context of theoretical concepts of “uprooting of meaning” for the youth in each of the four groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-338
Number of pages25
JournalSociological Focus
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
"Please contact the first author at the University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa. 31905 Israel. E-mail: salsterk@gmail.com. The authors declare no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship or publication of this article. This research was supported by the BMBF consortium on Migration and Integration.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)

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