The integration of immigrants from the former soviet union

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Analysis of the integration of immigrants from the FSU is complicated from both theoretical and empirical points of view. First, Israel is at a turning point. The current wave of immigration began at a time when the country was undergoing change. Israeli society is less collectivist and more individualistic than in previous decades, less Zionist, less idealistic and more pragmatic. The economy is less rigidly structured. In other words Israel has become socially, culturally and economically diverse. As a result there are more communities and more identities within the territorial and political entity. Second, most paradigms for the integration of immigrants deal with immigrants moving from non-developed countries to developed countries. In contrast, the case of Russian immigration to Israel is in a sense a Brain Drain of educated people from Russia. Third, in most immigration countries the immigrants are a small minority. In Israel Russian immigrants make up 20 per cent of the population. Three factors account for the integration of Russian immigrants in Israeli society: policies, climate of opinion and the immigrants' ability to organize themselves. Analysis of the interplay between the three factors reveals that the different factors are pushing in different directions. The official policies encourage assimilation. The climate of opinion, especially in some sectors of the Israeli society, creates among many immigrants the feeling that they are not welcomed by Israeli society, and the ability of the community to organize itself is pushing, sometimes, towards segregation of the community. The main conclusion of this article is that it is impossible to identify models of integration.We have to try to identify scripts which are more fluid than models. There are four main scripts of integration of Russian immigrants: Assimilation Script, Separation Script, Transnational Script and Hybridity Script. None of these scripts is dominant; they can coexist with one another.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-136
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Phytoremediation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Plant Science


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