EXPLORING THE CREATIVE ISRAELI DIASPORA: Reading class and profession in the diaspora

Nir Cohen, Steven J. Gold

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the emergence of Israel’s ‘creative diaspora’, a class-/profession-based group whose members exhibit distinct characteristics. They are highly skilled and educated, often having been trained vocationally and/or academically at institutions outside Israel. In addition, they are disproportionately concentrated in global city-regions and exhibit high rates of entrepreneurship in their chosen fields of specialisation. Owing to their high levels of cultural capital, they are considerably more mobile than other Israeli migrants and are inclined towards working and socialising with other ‘creatives’ - Israelis or not. Finally, their privileged socio-professional status enables them smoother integration process into labour markets in destination countries. The chapter is divided into four sections: in the first section, the study is situated within the broader theoretical literature on creative migration, followed by the historical background of creative migration from Israel, focusing on the period from the 1980s onwards. In the third section, drawing on semi-structured interviews conducted with Israelis abroad over the past two decades, the (porous) contours of this diasporic group are described, with particular attention to the socio-demographic and geographic characteristics of its members. The chapter concludes by highlighting the advantages of using a class/profession perspective in diaspora studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780429556609
ISBN (Print)9780367217921
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 selection and editorial matter, Dalia Abdelhady and Ramy Aly.


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