Gendered patterns of experience in social and cultural transition: The case of English-speaking immigrants in Israel

Sophie D. Walsh, Gabriel Horenczyk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to connect between work on the impact on the self as a consequence of the immigration process and theories of gender. It was based on semistructured interviews with 12 English-speaking immigrants to Israel. The data were analyzed using grounded theory (A. Strauss & J. Corbin, 1990, 1994) to examine the difficulties that the immigrants felt when leaving and since being in Israel, their methods of coping and their views of what constitutes a "successful immigration." Two major patterns were identified, each of which rested on a different self "need" that appeared to have been affected by the immigration process: (1) the need to feel competent and (2) the need to feel a sense of belonging. Although most of the interviewees talked of both needs being damaged or affected to some extent, there was a strong tendency for the women respondents to place "belonging" needs in the foreground of their accounts and for men to place "competence" needs in theirs. Such results can be understood in the context of feminist theories of self that distinguish between women's sense of self, built "in relation" through connection to others, and men's sense of self, built around the concept of "separation.".

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)501-528
Number of pages28
JournalSex Roles
Volume45
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2001

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Coping
  • Gender
  • Immigration

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