Feelings of belonging or alienation and social emotional perceptions of immigrant youths in the digital age, in comparison with native-born youths

Gila Cohen Zilka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The purpose of the present study was to characterize the feelings of belonging or alienation and social emotional perceptions of immigrant youths in an age when there are well-developed digital environments granting availability without barriers of time and place. This research is a mixed-method study with emphasis on quantitative research. A total of 559 Israeli adolescents aged 12 to 18 participated in the study, of whom 222 (40%) were immigrants residing for up to four years in the country. To characterize the absorption process experienced by the immigrant youths, we used the life cycle assessment (LCA) mechanism. We identified a 2-class model. The first group, 36% of the immigrant youths who participated in the study, was characterized by a positive feeling regarding their experience of the absorption process. Time in the country of absorption (under two years and from two years to four years) did not change their approach to the process they experienced. Immigrant adolescents feel that thanks to the mobile technologies, the translations, databases, numerous applications, and groups on the social networks, they are able to face the challenges and difficulties they encounter in the process of absorption in the new country. We found that the positive process of identity building by immigrant youths in the digital age is a combination of interactions with those who remain in the country of origin and significant interactions in the new society, especially in schools, fostering a sense of belonging, sharing, acceptance, a sense of being needed, and attention, which are likely to create a sense of resilience in immigrant youths.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1937-1954
    Number of pages18
    JournalEducation and Information Technologies
    Volume26
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Mar 2021

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

    Keywords

    • Alienation
    • Belonging
    • Equal opportunity
    • Immigrant
    • Information and communication technology (ICT)
    • Teenagers

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