Mastewal Bitew
Mastewal Bitew

BIGSSS, Universit├Ąt Bremen


Unicom, Haus 9, Room: 9.3300

Regular Ph.D. Fellow, Cohort 2023

Dissertation topic
Bicultural Identity Integration: Ethiopian Jews in Israel and Self-Identified Jews in Ethiopia

Dissertation abstract
This research seeks to compare Bicultural Identity Integration (BII) and the subsequent psychological outcome of Ethiopian Jews in Israel and self-identified Jews in Ethiopia. BII expands a unidimensional integration construct to a multidimensional concept to understand the diversity of domain-specific cultural knowledge operating within the individual. The construct measures the degree to which biculturals perceive their two cultural identities as cultural harmony versus conflict and cultural blendedness versus compartmentalization. Individuals with higher levels of BII identify with both ethnic and mainstream cultures and perceive them as complementary and part of a combined culture, whereas biculturals with lower levels of BII also identify with both mainstream and ethnic cultures but are more likely to feel caught between the two cultures and prefer to keep them separate. Given the contextual and individual variations within or between Ethiopian Jews in Israel and self-identified Jews in Ethiopia, the two sets of groups are presumed to have differently activated behavioral (blended vs. compartmentalized) and affective (harmony vs. conflict) identity styles to negotiate their dual cultural identities. A person with the perception of conflict and compartmentalization appears to report poor psychological outcomes when compared with a bicultural with the feeling of harmony and blendedness. This research will present three studies by drawing comparable samples from Ethiopia and Israel to decide which identity strategy is being activated while interacting with their respective dominant culture.

Academic Supervisors
Klaus Boehnke
Sonja Drobnic
Mandy Boehnke