The Dilemma of Deviant Subcultures for Immigrant Youth Integration: An Analysis of Popularity Attainment in Israeli Schools

Published: 
2017

Source: Maryanne Theobald (ed.) Friendship and Peer Culture in Multilingual Settings (Sociological Studies of Children and Youth, Volume 21) Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.113 - 141

Immigrant and second generation youth face distinct challenges adapting to school environments in the host society. Young people’s popularity is often influenced by style-based subcultures. This research investigates how students from diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds in Israel, a multi-ethnic society with a large proportion of immigrant youth, adopt subcultural identities, and the effects this has on popularity attainment. This study makes use of a nationally representative quantitative survey of Hebrew instructed high schools. Results are analyzed through Structural Equations Modeling.

Results highlight how youth who have less tenure in the country and preserve indigenous languages are increasingly drawn toward delinquent subcultures as a means toward gaining popularity in school. Differences based on ethnic belonging are also discussed.

In order to create a more conducive environment for immigrant children to make friends with locals, educators require knowledge about the causes of social conflict. Immigrant youth are often drawn toward delinquent subcultures as a means for attaining social acceptance, which can lead to perpetual inequalities.

Updated: Jan. 17, 2017
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