Britney Spears remained in Russia: Dynamics of musical preferences in the integration of immigrant adolescents

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5 Scopus citations


This study examined the roles of popular music in the lives of immigrant adolescents from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS-former Soviet Union) in Israel. Based on 70 in-depth interviews with newly arrived adolescents aged 12-18, our research revealed that these adolescents' musical preferences matched different stages of adaptation to their new country, with different music styles fulfilling different integration needs. During their first two years in Israel, interviewees enthusiastically explored local musical fare. This stage was also characterised by positive attitudes towards their new home and their anticipated integration. In dramatic contrast, the next three to five years were characterised by disappointment with the local culture, accompanied by growing social alienation. Many adolescents found consolation in late-1980s Russian rock music, as texts critical of the Soviet regime helped them express anger and frustration felt as they came of age in new, difficult and often hostile surroundings. It seems, therefore, that, for immigrant adolescents, different types of popular music not only serve as a marker of their evolving cultural identity but also as indicators of social and psychological adaptation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-77
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • Adaptation
  • CIS
  • Immigrant adolescents
  • Israel
  • Popular music
  • Russian immigrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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