Critical adult education and community organizing: The case of diverse communities in Israel

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Community organizing is an effective approach to face social, economic, and racial injustice at the local level. However, since the 1970s, neoliberal policies, growing social divisions, and political disengagement have challenged community organizing. This study explores the use of critical adult education to address local organizing challenges with diverse and socially excluded communities in Israel. Building on a case of a local partnership to promote inclusive urban development, we analyzed data from interviews, focus groups, and participant observations conducted with activists and paid professionals. The findings suggest that critical education was instrumental in organizing across diversities through three processes: transposing knowledge, disrupting power hierarchies, and negotiating diversity. Critical education was perceived as empowering for activists at the individual-family level and promote change at the local level. However, at the national policy level, limited changes were achieved. The advantages and limitations of critical education for local organizing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3525-3541
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Community Psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of Community Psychology Published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.


  • comunity organizing
  • critical education
  • diversity
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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