Using Narratives to Understand the Adaptation Process of an Ethnic Migrant Group from a Resilience Perspective—a Case Study of Cochin Jews in Israel

Eitan Shahar, Maya Lavie-Ajayi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on immigrant adaptation has been criticized for ignoring the perspective of migrant communities, for framing migrants within a binary categorization of insiders/outsiders, and for focusing on the traumatic aspect of migration. This paper addresses these criticisms, by using a narrative approach to study the adaptation processes of one community of Jewish migrants from Cochin in India to Israel, from a resilience perspective. The study incorporates participant observations and life-story interviews with this first generation of migrants. The preeminent theme running through the life stories was that of the reconciliation of contrasts. This theme is demonstrated through identified patterns, in the life of the community, of both integration and separation from the wider society. The findings highlight the significant role played by cultural influences in the adaptation process and the potential that exists for active learning and the building of bridges to the inner world of migrants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2018

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Ethnic group
  • Migration
  • Narrative
  • Resilience

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