Conflict Attitudes and Behavior of Juvenile Emigrants from the FSU in Germany and Israel

Duration of Research: 2006-2009

Funding Agency: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Zvi Eisikovits (P.I.)
Gideon Fishman (P.I.)
Gustavo S. Mesch (P.I.)
Chaya Koren (Research Coordinator)

Collaborators and Partners:
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Heitmeyer and his team from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at Bielefeld University, Germany.

Project Description:
In period of three years - May 2006 until April 2009 - the cooperative project groups of the IKG and the University of Haifa will do research on the conflict attitudes and behavior of young migrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU). The German group will address to the so called Russian Germans, while the Israeli group will focus on Jewish migrants. With a comparative design and qualitative interviews of juveniles we will survey the similarities and differences of the two ethnic groups.

The main interest of the research is about the peculiarities of the socialization in the FSU concerning norms, violence, and the set of normative values as a cultural inheritance with which the migrants arrive to the new society and which might be the initial guideline for the newcomer. We estimate that the socialization in the country of origin is quite common for both groups. Secondly, we will focus on the effects of integration in the new social surroundings of school, labor market, and so on. Because of different constellations in the two receiving societies we estimate differences on which we will focus with our comparative design. Besides some common experiences, the level of rejection and prejudice seems to be different in both countries. Thirdly, we will examine the role of peers and the family in the process of increasing or decreasing norm conflicts and violence. We estimate that peers as well as the family have the function of a buffer for the youth to deal with the new experiences after the migration.

The central assumption is that only a small number of migrants from the FSU regard delinquency in general and violence in particular as an acceptable way to act, however, such behavior when it occurs can obstruct social integration. The alternative is high-risk integration in sub-cultural milieus with a high probability of developing a criminal career.

Koren, C., & Eisikovits, Z. (2011). "Continuity and discontinuity of violent and non-violent behavior: Towards a classification of male adolescent immigrants from the FSU in Israel", Sociological Focus, 44(4), 314-338