Social identity and violence among immigrant adolescents.

Gustavo S. Mesch, Hagit Turjeman, Gideon Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Whereas traditional criminological theories treat juvenile delinquency largely as a reactive and expressive behavior that only seldom leads to specialized criminal offending or a criminal career, this article proposes an alternative classification of offenses that accounts for the difference between youthful reactive conduct and specialized criminality. It examines the effect of immigration on delinquency among juvenile Russians in Israel. In contrast to previous work that has examined the criminogenic effect of immigration without differentiating specific types of delinquency, this study investigates the immigration effect on eclectic as well as specialized delinquency. Based on survey data from face-to-face interviews with 910 immigrant youths from the former Soviet Union in Israel, the study finds important results regarding the integration of juvenile immigrants in modern societies. In contrast to the assumption that assimilation in multicultural societies represents a safe way for social adaptation and to prevent specific kinds of violent behavior, the authors find empirical support for a more sophisticated approach. Furthermore, the results underline the importance in differentiating between distinct forms of violence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalNew directions for youth development
Issue number119
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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