Identity Prosthesis: Roles of Homeland Media in Sustaining Native Identity

Amit Kama, Vered Malka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article focuses on the ways media texts produced in Israel constitute a vital part in the lives and identities of Jewish Israeli migrants in the United States. In this qualitative study, Israelis residing in the United States were interviewed about their media consumption patterns and their perceptions about the Israeli media's impact on their lives in the United States. Analyses reveal that homeland media constitute indispensable identity prosthesis; that is, homeland media not only help combat homesickness but are used as devices in sustaining and empowering native identity. Israeli media bolster these migrants' sense as if they never left home: They are wholly Israeli notwithstanding the geographic distance. Living in the diaspora is masked by an illusion maintained via consumption of homeland media. Paradoxically, diasporic life can be indefinitely extended because these media afford this illusion. The importation of culture and news from the homeland soothes the migrants' uneasiness of being away from native soil and consequently they prolong their sojourn abroad.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-388
Number of pages19
JournalHoward Journal of Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Israel
  • diaspora
  • identity
  • transnational


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