New Article: Korem and Horenczyk, Social Strategies in Intercultural Relations of Ethiopian Immigrants

Korem, Anat and Gabriel Horenczyk. “Perceptions of Social Strategies in Intercultural Relations: The Case of Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations 49 (2015): 13-24.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2015.06.008

 

Abstract

Social strategies are a central component of intercultural competence, and are vital in understanding, theoretically and practically, the immigration and acculturation process. This study focused on an immigrant group experiencing identity threat, namely young Ethiopians in Israel, and examined their perceptions of social strategies in intergroup relations. Thematic analysis was performed on two types of qualitative data: (1) newspaper articles in which members of the Ethiopian community addressed aspects of their social strategies (31 reports collected from seven newspapers and magazines) and (2) data from two focus groups conducted afterwards with young adult members of the Ethiopian community (five to seven participants in each group). A major pattern emerging from the immigrants’ reports is the adoption of the hosts’ perspective and attitudes regarding the effective norms of social behavior. In their daily coping, on the other hand, the immigrant youth tended to exhibit a complex and at times ambivalent variety of behavioral patterns in their social interactions with members of the host culture. This spectrum of social strategies suggests dynamic processes of trial and error and reflects the unique complexity of intercultural competence. Findings were analyzed in terms of the immigrants’ perception of the threat to their identity and of their ways of coping with those threats.

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