Volume 12, 2007 : Immigrant Scholars Write about Identity and Integration

Former Soviet Jews in Israel and in the West: Integration, Exclusion and Transnationalism
Larissa Remennick
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Bar-Ilan University, Israel

Theoretical focus of the paper is the relationship between transnationalism and immigrant incorporation in the host country’s labor market and social system. It is shown that due to its timing and composition, Russian immigration of the 1990s was readily transnational at the outset, but the expression of diasporic interests and activities depends both on geographic location and modes of integration in the new homelands. Russian Jews in Israel and Germany display stronger diasporic tendencies than those who resettled in the USA and Canada. Across the New Diaspora, transnational activities among Russian Jews grow ‘from below’ (i.e. from individual initiative rather than institutional action) and are largely limited to the socio-cultural domain. The reliance on co-ethnic networks within and outside of the host country may be a mixed blessing, both empowering the weaker segments of the immigrants and thwarting their integration by creating an alternative social space.

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