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The Dilemma of Deviant Subcultures for Immigrant Youth Integration: An Analysis of Popularity Attainment in Israeli Schools

Friendship and Peer Culture in Multilingual Settings

ISBN: 978-1-78635-396-2, eISBN: 978-1-78635-395-5

Publication date: 17 December 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Immigrant and second generation youth face distinct challenges adapting to school environments in the host society. Young people’s popularity is often influenced by style-based subcultures. This research investigates how students from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds in Israel, a multi-ethnic society with a large proportion of immigrant youth, adopt subcultural identities, and the effects this has on popularity attainment.

Methodology/approach

This study makes use of a nationally representative quantitative survey of Hebrew instructed high schools. Results are analyzed through Structural Equations Modeling.

Findings

Results highlight how youth who have less tenure in the country and preserve indigenous languages are increasingly drawn toward delinquent subcultures as a means toward gaining popularity in school. Differences based on ethnic belonging are also discussed.

Social implications

In order to create a more conducive environment for immigrant children to make friends with locals, educators require knowledge about the causes of social conflict. Immigrant youth are often drawn toward delinquent subcultures as a means for attaining social acceptance, which can lead to perpetual inequalities.

Originality/value

Subcultures are widely recognized as playing an important role in one’s choice of friends, but hitherto little research examined the mediating role that subcultures play for immigrant youth, especially in the Israeli context.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the following organizations for providing financial support to fund this research: The Hebrew University Research Authority, The Israeli Government, Department of Sciences, The Levi Eshkol Institute for Social, Economic, and Political Research in Israel, The Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, The National Association for War against Drugs and Alcohol, The NCJW Research Institute for Innovation in Education, and The Shaine Center of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University.

Citation

Goldstein, K. and Golan-Cook, P. (2016), "The Dilemma of Deviant Subcultures for Immigrant Youth Integration: An Analysis of Popularity Attainment in Israeli Schools", Friendship and Peer Culture in Multilingual Settings (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 113-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1537-466120160000021007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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