“Today I am a Russian-Moroccan”: Cultural transition among Gen 1.5 immigrant women in Israel's geo-social periphery

Anna Prashizky, Larissa Remennick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study highlights the unique experiences of socio-cultural transition among young ex-Soviet immigrant women who spent their formative years in Israel's urban periphery among resident Mizrahi Jews. It follows the complex dynamic in Russian-Mizrahi relations moving from mutual hostility and rejection to gradual adoption of Mizrahi habitus, often leading to marriage between Mizrahi men and Russian women. As part of a larger study of the migrant journeys in Israel's geo-social periphery, we interviewed 24 women belonging to Generation 1.5 who immigrated as children or adolescents. Most informants achieved some economic mobility despite their low starting positions, and many of them were married to Mizrahi partners. The interviews illuminate lingering ambivalence in the ongoing cultural encounter between Jewish Israelis of ex-Soviet and Middle-Eastern origin. They show how gendered body praxis around dress, hair, and other visual elements; communicative styles, as well as cooking and domestic habits of many migrant women of Ashkenazi (European) origin were transformed by adopting local Mizrahi features. Most informants spoke of this change as adaptive for their integration in the new milieu, but over time they came to appreciate the positive facets of Mizrahi habitus and family life. Our findings shed light on the evolving boundary-work between hosts and immigrants by means of gendered and embodied cultural transition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102910
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
StatePublished - 1 May 2024

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  • Embodied cultural transition
  • Generation 1.5
  • Geo-social periphery
  • Immigrant women
  • Israel
  • Mizrahi culture


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