Between a Western Career and Traditional Community: Narratives of Successful Ethiopian Immigrant Women

Dalit Yassour-Borochowitz, Varda Wasserman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study’s objective was to examine the relations between successful Ethiopian immigrant women in Israel and their traditional community, as well as the strategies they adopt to contend with its expectations. Based on a qualitative life and work history methodology, the data were collected from 34 successful women who emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel. Results show three dialectical axes scrutinizing the interrelations of the participants with their community (found both between different participants and within the same woman): (a) trenchant criticism of the community coupled with praise and pride, (b) community as a support base or as hindering personal development, and (c) a desire for separation/detachment from community coupled with a desire to support the community. The findings demonstrate how the Ethiopian women contend with the normative demands of two different, clashing systems: the Ethiopian community-family system and Israel’s neoliberal labor market.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-523
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Career Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by an ISF grant # 487/14.


  • Black women
  • career
  • immigrant women
  • intersectionality
  • success


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