“What for? I'll be 18 soon and getting out of here”: Future orientation among immigrant at-risk youth in Israel

Shaked Klein, Avihu Shoshana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the phenomenology of the future orientation of at-risk youth who immigrated to Israel over the past two years from low socioeconomic status communities of Former Soviet Union countries. These youth emigrated from these communities with their family to one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city in northern Israel. Two major questions reside at the foundation of our study: (1) How do these at-risk youth experience their contemporary life in the host country? (2) What is the future orientation of these at-risk youth? To examine these research questions, we conducted in-depth interviews with 16 boys and girls aged 12–17, studying in grades 7–12. The main research findings reveal that all respondents see Israel as a transit station, aspire to emigrate to other countries, insist on preserving their Russian culture (including refusal to learn Hebrew), and maintain their Russian identity through transnationalism, facilitated by technology. In light of this, the youth expressed a sense of high temporality and ambiguity regarding their remaining in Israel and their dependence on their parents' decisions regarding the possibility of further emigration. Moreover, our findings reveal the youth's desire for “normality,” which is expressed primarily in the desire for employment that enables a stable income. Most youths could not state what that job would be, where they would like to work in the future, and in what profession. Issues discussed include the ramifications of time and temporality (through the concept of liminality and the experience of waiting) in the life characteristics of the youth, the impact of these characteristics on their future orientation, and their contribution to social exclusion and social inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105255
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • At-risk youth
  • Cultural capital
  • Future orientation
  • Immigrant youth
  • Immigration

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of '“What for? I'll be 18 soon and getting out of here”: Future orientation among immigrant at-risk youth in Israel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this