Gender and power relations in cultural transition: Three generations of immigrant women from Ex-Soviet Caucasus in Israel

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Abstract

This research sheds light on the immigration and acculturation experiences of three consecutive generations of Jewish women from the ex-Soviet Caucasus who moved to Israel during the 1990s. It explores the evolving gender relations during cultural transition, strategies and resources deployed by the immigrant women to escape patriarchal control and achieve social mobility in the new society. The unique inter-generational perspective highlights intersectionality between gender, immigration, and ethnicity in shaping life trajectories of these women. Semi-structured biographical interviews were conducted with 35 women belonging to the immigrant Generations 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 of the Caucasus Jews, followed by the thematic analysis of the inter- and intra-generational dynamics of their integration in Israel. Based on a 30-year-long perspective, the study contextualizes women's experiences of overcoming barriers originating in the extended family and co-ethnic community. The findings underscore women's agency as brokers of change in their own lives and the lives of their daughters enabled by the encounter with the mainstream Israeli culture. A similar dynamic of ‘slow-motion gender liberation process’ can probably be uncovered among other immigrant women coming from traditional communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102693
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Volume97
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • Gendered power relations
  • Generational dynamics
  • Immigrant women from the Caucasus
  • Women's agency and integration

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