Self-perception of minority group adolescents: The experience of Arabs living in Israel

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This article describes the self-perception of Arab adolescents living in Israel. The experience of Arab adolescents in Israel is that of a minority group which is currently undergoing cultural, social and political changes. The Arabs in Israel are a non-assimilating minority, a status that is not the result of their free choice, but of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. The continuing state of conflict after this war between Israel and the Arab world has placed the Arabs in Israel in the permanent status of a hostile "minority", while the Jewish nationalist approach of the state of Israel has placed them outside the national consensus. The sample consists of 692 twelfth-grade Arab adolescents from seven high schools located in Arab villages, Arab towns and mixed Jewish-Arab towns all over the country. Questionnaires were distributed among the students and were answered anonymously, each taking about 45 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is a version of the Offer Self-image Questionnaire. It was translated from Hebrew into Arabic and modified to fit the unique situation of Arab adolescents in Israel. Demographic information included variables such as gender, religion and level of religiosity, number of years of parents education, and form of residence. Findings show differences in various aspects of adolescents' self-perception according to gender, family level of religiosity and form of residence. The significance of the findings is discussed within two frameworks: environmental stability as related to self-concept, and the changes taking place in ethnic minority communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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