Perspectives of young immigrants from the former ussr on voting and politics in israel

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    This paper explores the position of a group of immigrant youths from the European republics of the former USSR on participation in public life in Israel, as expressed in their attitudes toward voting in the 1996 national elections, the first in which the youths were eligible to take part. The study group consisted of 30 18–year–old high school seniors, 14 males and 16 females, from the northern part of the state, who were interviewed during the month preceding the elections. Three types of attitudes emerged from the semi–strucrured interviews. The “critical–knowledgeable” group, comprising politically well–informed young people, were interested in elections and public life and displayed a constructively critical attitude toward the system; the “integrationist–uninformed” students (all females) were politically uninformed, aware of their deficiency, and eager to repair it and to participate in public life; the “oppositionary–uninformed” group (all males) comprised equally uninformed youngsters who attempted to conceal their lack of knowledge behind a mask of nonchalance and oppositional stance to the political establishment. The study describes and analyzes these positions, comparing them with the perspectives on democracy and participation of native–born and long–time resident Israeli youngsters. The paper considers the costs of the youths' attitudes toward elections and civic engagement, both to themselves and to the receiving society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)454-475
    Number of pages22
    JournalTheory and Research in Social Education
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 2005

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Sociology and Political Science


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