Immigrant children and media

Nelly Elias, Narmina Abdulaev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Immigration and integration into a new society are among the most complex processes in an individual’s life, characterized by numerous losses, confusion, and challenges that eventually lead to significant personal changes. While the research literature usually pays more attention to changes characteristic of adult immigrants, the experience may be no less difficult for children and adolescents. Like their parents, immigrant youngsters miss their familiar culture and previous social networks. In parallel, the more rapid adoption of the new language and culture by immigrant youth may widen cultural gaps between them and older family members, thus weakening parental authority and family cohesion.
Accordingly, we should differentiate between the two adaptation processes that immigrant youth undergo simultaneously: outward integration (e.g., acquiring host language skills, adopting local youth culture, and socializing with local peers) and inward integration (e.g., instilling native linguistic skills, preserving the homeland heritage, and maintaining ties with other co-ethnics) (Elias & Lemish, 2008). To succeed at these demanding processes,
young immigrants have to maximize the resources at their disposal, including media in the host and native languages. This chapter provides an overview of the principal media used by immigrant children and adolescents seeking to facilitate their incorporation into the new culture – while attempting to preserve their original cultural identity – and maintain family unity despite growing cultural gaps.
Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Children, Adolescents, and Media, Second edition
EditorsDafna Lemish
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781000574906
ISBN (Print)9780367633356
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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