Between trauma and redemption: Story form differences in immigrant narratives of successful and nonsuccessful immigration

Maya Benish-Weisman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many immigrants find immigration a stressful experience. Whereas some overcome the initial feeling of being overwhelmed, others are frustrated and disappointed years after their immigration. In this study, 22 people who emigrated from the former USSR to Israel in the early 1990s were interviewed regarding their immigration experiences and the resulting narratives analyzed. The immigrants chosen represented the extreme poles of the success experience-some felt that their immigration was very successful; others found it very unsuccessful. Analysis revealed differences in the form of the immigration stories. The narratives of the successful immigrants were coherent and well structured; narratives of the nonsuccessful immigrants were fragmented and lacked coherence. The results are discussed in terms of how people construct immigration stories and what these constructions stand for.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)953-968
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Immigrants' experience
  • Narrative psychology
  • Subjective adjustment

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