Between Cultures and Generations: Ethnic Activism of 1.5 Generation Immigrant Leaders

Rachel Sharaby


This article discusses ethnic activism in advancing a religious holiday in the absorbing society among 1.5 generation social-political activists who immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia. The findings show that syncretism was created in the identity, and in the organization and leadership patterns of the Ethiopian leaders that reflected their goals. By displaying symbols of their ethnic identity, they struggled over the right of their excluded minority group to ethnic otherness and its inclusion in the collective space. They stressed the importance of these ethnic celebrations as a factor that unifies the people and the symmetry of this unity. They served as a bridge between generations, between tradition and modernity, and between the absorbing and the absorbed. The article supplies essential insights on how young leaders use their ethnic tradition as a resource for the recruitment of cultural, social, and political capital for uniting a minority group and integrating it into society.


1.5 generation; immigration; identity; syncretism; leaders

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