This first large-scale empirical work on the adjustment problems of immigrants in Israel is now updated with a new introduction by the author and a preface by Alex Weingrod. The extraordinary phenomenon of worldwide immigration to Israel has made this searching study of people in transit possible. "Immigrants on the Threshold" reports on the attitudes and behaviors of almost 2,000 people from twenty countries during their first year in Israel during the early years of mass migration. It is of particular interest as the phenomenon of integration becomes an issue for concern in many other parts of the world. "Immigrants on the Threshold" by Judith Shuval presents a theoretical framework closely intermeshed with rich empirical findings. No other work in this field approaches this study in either depth of theoretical analysis or in design and execution of data collection performed by conducting in-depth interviews and then using statistical analysis to quantify results in exacting and objective detail. It attempts to answer a number of critical questions: What factors in the immigrants' past and present condition their responses to the strain of transit?
What is the role of commitment to the goal of the new society into which they must incorporate? What is the role of different social and economic backgrounds in determining patterns of acculturation? What factors affect the aspirations and mobility patterns of immigrants? The answers to these questions - the hypotheses formulated and the conclusions reached in "Immigrants on the Threshold" - contribute substantially to the fields of both sociology and social psychology. These answers, and the methods used to reach them, should be of interest to anyone in these fields and the field of applied social research, as well as those interested in Israel and questions of immigrant integration.
Judith T. Shuval was research associate at the Israel Institute of Applied Social Research in Jerusalem and now holds the Rose Chair as Professor of Sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Alex Weingrod is professor of anthropology at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
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