(Dis)Continuity: Ethno-Class Identity, Intergenerational Relations, and the Transition to Adulthood
This study examines intergenerational family relationships through an ethno-class lens. Specifically, it examines how lower-class young Mizrahi adults, as opposed to their middle-class Ashkenazi peers, harness their relationships with their parents to their ethno-class identity work. The study is based on 51 repeated interviews conducted from 2009-2014 with six middle-class Ashkenazi and six lower-class Mizrahi participants; all graduates of a school uniquely devoted to social integration. The analysis of the interviews indicates that the young adults view their parents through an ethno-class lens, which arises from a need to position themselves as part of adult society in Israel. The dominant interpretive practice among the Ashkenazi group is "intergenerational class continuity," despite the existing generational gap with their parents. These participants feel similar to their parents and seek to hold on to their parents' social position for as long as possible in order to establish their own. Among the Mizrahi participants, on the other hand, a wider variety of interpretive practices can be found. These range from similarity to the parents, characterized by participants whose mobility project is complex; to symbolic boundary-work vis-à-vis parents, which is more typical of highly mobile young adults.