Immigrants and Bureaucrats: Ethiopians in an Israeli Absorption Center | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Immigrants and Bureaucrats: Ethiopians in an Israeli Absorption Center

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Volume 7

New Directions in Anthropology

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Immigrants and Bureaucrats

Ethiopians in an Israeli Absorption Center

Esther Hertzog
With a Preface by Emanuel Marx

240 pages, 3 maps, 10 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-57181-941-3 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 1999)

eISBN 978-1-78238-936-1 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Buy the eBook from these vendorsRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


"A very good book on the important topic of bureaucratic treatment of Ethiopian immigrants in Israel ... a tightly knit analysis."  · SHOFAR


Since Israel is primarily a country of immigrants, the state takes on the responsibility for the settlement and integration of each new group. It therefore sees its role as benevolent and indispensable to the welfare of the immigrants. This be true to some extent. However, the overwhelming effect, the author argues, is exactly the opposite: in her study of Ethiopian immigrants she reaches the conclusion that the absorption centers, which are central to Israeli immigration policy, present an extreme case of bureaucratic control over immigrants; they hinder rather than facilitate integration through the creation of power-dependence relations, with immigrants - whose lives and social structures are constantly interfered with by the officials - being cast as weak, defenseless and needy. They are reduced to helpless charges of these officials whose main goals are to expand and perpetuate their respective organizations and to consolidate their own positions within them. Thus the absorption centers, rather than furthering integration, create dependence on state control and social segregation.

Esther Hertzog was a social worker and school teacher before training as a Social Anthropologist. She is now Lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at Beit Berl College.

Subject: Refugee and Migration StudiesAnthropology (General)
Area: Middle East & Israel


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