Deby Babis

Dr. Deby Babis

Research Fellow
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Dr. Deby Babis is a sociologist and anthropologist specializing in voluntary organizations and ethnic communities.  Her research covers both immigrant and indigenous groups in different countries, such as Argentina, Israel, Bolivia, Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines. Deby's PhD focused on the organization of the Latin American Immigrants in Israel, while her Postdoc dealt with indigenous doctors in Bolivia. Since 2013 she is primarily studying Filipino migrants in Israel, Canada and Hong Kong. By means of traditional and digital ethnographies, she explores different aspects of these communities, such as their voluntary organizations, their activities in Facebook and the emergence of mixed families.  Deby is a fellow researcher at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Research Abstract: 

"The emergence of indigenous immigrant organizations: a comparative perspective"

The following research studies the phenomenon of voluntary organizations among indigenous immigrant and their role in the global world. Indigenous immigrant organizations, which emphasize their homeland indigenous identity in the host country (e.g. organizations of different Ghana Tribes in Canada) over their home country national identity (e.g. Ghanaian-Canadian Association), are a new phenomenon which has emerged recently and has not been studied yet.  Therefore the purpose of this research is to explore the emergence of indigenous immigrant organizations, focusing on their dynamics with regard to the indigenous communities of origin, the home country and the host country.

This research project will be conducted by means of a two-stage comparative study. The first stage will focus on the case of the Igorot - an indigenous group from the Northern Philippines - comparing the dynamics of their immigrant organizations in different host countries. The Igorot are a very interesting case, since they have founded organizations in more than twenty countries and even established a global organization (IGO - Igorot Global Organization). The second stage of the project will compare organizations of two different indigenous immigrant groups within the United States: the Maya from Guatemala and the Igorot from the Philippines.

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