This study investigates the structure and components of the Arab identity repertoire in Israel. We analyse the relative salience of each component and the structural relations among the components. In addition we interpret the meanings associated with each component of the Arab identity repertoire in Israel. Our study differs from traditional investigations of Arab identities in Israel in considering identity as a multi-dimensional phenomenon, and in interpreting the meanings that the respondents assign to the relevant identities. Empirically we find that most Arabs in Israel feel strongly attached to at least three identities, none of them dominating the others. The correlations among the identities are low, meaning that they are only marginally affected by the feasibility of alternative identities and more by the type of practices performed in each respective milieu. In this respect it is interesting to see that the Palestinian identity is not associated with citizenship beyond national pride, while the Israeli identity is expected to supply them with a sense of citizenship. Our finding that different groups constitute for themselves different relations among the components of the identity repertoire suggests that our multi-dimensional model supplies a better explanation for the structure of Arab repertoires of identities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The first draft of this paper was presented at the Study Day ‘Jewish–Arab Relations: October Events’ at The Centre for Peace Studies, Giv’at Haviva, 1 March 2001. This study is funded by the Israel Science Foundation.
- Arabs in Israel
- Identity repertoire