Ethnic fusion in migration: The new Russian–Mizrahi pop-culture hybrids in Israel

Anna Prashizky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

A fascinating new phenomenon aimed at redrawing the boundaries of two different (and conflicted) ethnic groups – Russian and Mizrahi (North African and Middle Eastern) Israeli Jews – is increasingly visible in recent years. Young, Russian-speaking, ethnic entrepreneurs have invented the hybrid cultural trope of ‘Mizrahi or Mediterranean Russianness’ expressed in various popular culture venues: video-clips, festivals, public events, and music and dance performances they produced. This counter-intuitive merger reflects the mainstreaming of Mizrahi styles and genres in the Israeli culture. It also challenges the Orientalist attitudes towards Mizrahim prevalent among Russian immigrants in Israel, especially the older generation. Drawing upon several vivid examples from the Russian-Israeli cultural scene, the present article sheds new light on the mechanisms of ethnic fusion and hybridity in migration and their role in the ongoing integration process of young immigrants belonging to Generation 1.5. I argue that ethnocultural fusion can function as a means for ethnic revival, solidarity and the claim for belonging among young immigrant adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1062-1081
Number of pages20
JournalEthnicities
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.

Keywords

  • Ethnic fusion
  • Generation 1.5
  • Russian immigrants
  • hybridity
  • orientalism

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