The dynamic nature of being Jewish: Identity centrality and the acculturation of Russian Jews in the United States

Jennifer L. Rosner, Wendi L. Gardner, Ying yi Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

To investigate acculturation as it is influenced by Jewish identity, Russian Jewish immigrants born in the Former Soviet Union and American Jews of Eastern European ancestry were surveyed regarding their three identities: American, Jewish, and Eastern European ethnic/Russian. Study 1 examined perceived differences between the three cultures on a series of characteristics. Study 2 explored perceptions of bicultural identity distance between the American and Eastern European ethnic/Russian identities as a function of Jewish identity centrality. Findings revealed that for Russian Jews, Jewish identity centrality is related to less perceived distance between the American and Russian identities, suggesting that Jewish identity may bridge participants' American and Russian identities. In contrast, for American Jews, Jewish identity centrality is not related to less perceived distance between the American and Eastern European ethnic identities. The authors discuss implications for the long-term acculturation of Russian Jews in the United States and the function of religion in acculturation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1341-1355
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Volume42
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2011

Keywords

  • American Jews
  • Russian Jews
  • acculturation
  • identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology

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