The meaning of work among immigrants living in poverty in Israel: Replanting roots of belonging

Laura I. Sigad, Zvi Eisikovits, Roni Strier, Eli Buchbinder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The global financial crisis has increased the number of working immigrants living in poverty around the world. This article presents and analyses the interaction of work, immigration and poverty among working immigrants in Israel. Methodologically, this study has combined hermeneutic phenomenological and social constructivist approaches and in so doing has aimed to describe the realities of immigrants living and working in poverty. Presenting both men's and women's perspectives, we found that immigrants who work and live in poverty attribute crucial significance to work, which serves as a primary route of integration into the new culture as well as a means of coping with both the uprootedness caused by immigration and the difficulties of living in poverty. However, immigrants’ construction of work as the sole conduit for integration leaves them particularly vulnerable to discriminatory workplace practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-206
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Israel
  • immigrants
  • integration
  • poverty
  • work
  • working poor

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


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