Components of intercultural identity: Towards an effective integration policy

Elyakim Kislev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This research focuses on a group of religious students who integrated into a nonreligious school in order to understand the characteristics of their intercultural identity. I suggest a new perspective in which intercultural identity is analyzed by itself rather than analyzing acculturation strategies taken by the individual. Using an in-depth analysis of the presented case study, I argue that intercultural identity is characterized by three types of components: core, reinterpreted, and transient. Thus, while the existing bidimensional model defines integration as the simultaneous acceptance of different cultures as they are, the present study stresses the importance of reinterpreting components from both cultures as a basis for integration. Accordingly, this paper suggests that an effective integration policy encourages in the individual the ability to develop the reinterpreted components. This type of approach might promote a positive correlation, defined by prior research as ambivalent, between integration and the individual's emotional well-being and educational achievements.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)221-235
Number of pages15
JournalIntercultural Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was mainly written at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Federman School of Public Policy and School of Education. The research was funded in part by the Paul Lewis Award, Gilo Center for Civic Education and Democracy, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I wish to thank the participants in this research as well as Gabriel Horenczyk, Gayil Talshir, Abigail Yinon, and the reviewers of this journal for their valuable comments on earlier versions of this article.


  • Israel
  • identity
  • integration
  • multicultural policy
  • religion


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