Wannabe Israeli: immigrants wrestling with their identity

Laura Dryjanska, Cheryl Zlotnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While some people have no particular problems stating in a word or two how they self-identify, others may struggle with this task, as it stirs up emotions, doubts, and deeper reflections. This paper proposes methodology for analysing short free-text comments in relation to immigrants’ self-identification. It builds on a quantitative study concerning migration to Israel by English-speakers, concentrating on a qualitative analysis of their self-identification in the light of 249 free-text comments. The constructs of anchoring and objectification from the interdisciplinary theory of social representations guide the interpretation of results obtained in a two-step process: classical qualitative content analysis followed by the Multiple Correspondence Analysis. The findings demonstrate that at least for some immigrants in Israel, self-identification appears to be a complex process, in which single and hyphenated identifications concentrate more on the negative aspects or challenges of acculturation, while self-identifications based on religion and social role focus more on the positive view of giving advice to others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2557-2574
Number of pages18
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number5
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Free-text comments
  • Identity
  • Immigration
  • Multiple correspondence analysis
  • Self-identification
  • Social representations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • General Social Sciences


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