The consumer's choice: Language, media consumption and hybrid identities of minorities

Hanna Adoni, Akiba A. Cohen, Dan Caspi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study focuses on two large minorities in Israeli society: the 'returning Diaspora' of Russian immigrants and the 'involuntary' Arab minority. Using surrey data, this paper examines the relationship between the use of Hebrew, Russian and/or Arabic media, and the strength of two identities that members of a minority group possess; i. e., the one shared with the Israeli majority and the one based on one's respective minority. Based on the use of media in their native languages (Russian or Arabic) as well as Hebrew media, four types of media consumers were discerned in both minority communities: adapters, dualists, separatists, and detached. Most of the Russians were separatists, with dualists in second place while the modal type among the Arabs were the dualists, with separatists ranked second. The proportion of adapters among the Russians was double that among the Arabs. Among the Russians there was a significant interaction between Russian and Hebrew media use and the majority identity, while among the Arabs there was a significant interaction between Arabic and Hebrew media use and the minority identity. The findings suggest that dualist-hybrid media consumers, who are relatively high users of the media in the two languages, seem to be the best equipped and most compatible for integration into Israel's evolving multicultural society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-436
Number of pages26
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1. This paper is based on Israeli data collected as part of an Israeli-German compar-ative study funded by the German-Israeli Foundation for Research and Develop-ment (GIF). The German investigators in the study were Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Weiss of the Freie Universität, Berlin and Prof. Dr. Barbara Pfetsch of Hohen-heim Universität, Stuttgart. The authors would like to thank Ms. Nelly Elias and Ms. Noa Loffler-Elefant for their assistance in the data collection and analysis.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hybrid identity
  • Israeli Arabs
  • Israeli Russians
  • Minority languages
  • Minority media
  • Multiculturalism


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