Storytelling the future: Israelis, immigrants and the imagining of community

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article addresses the links between national identity, temporal order, and the re-socialization of migrants. Anchored in an ethnographic account of encounters between Israeli Jews and recent migrants to Israel from the former Soviet Union, it looks at ways in which temporal re-ordering was rendered crucial to the moral transformation required of the newcomers. These encounters reveal not only the ways in which Israeli oldtimers endeavored to persuade the newcomers to bracket off their present circumstances in favour of a shared, imagined future, but also how the newcomers sought to contest the use of the future for making meaning of the present. Finally, the paper examines how a more general argument about the modern state's control over time, and the challenges currently being posed to such control, is worked out in the Israeli case.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-35
Number of pages29
JournalAnthropological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Future
  • Israel
  • Nationalism
  • Soviet migrants
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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