Higher education is a key component of human capital and is positively linked to improving the economic, social, and personal aspects of life. This study aims to examine how people living under circumstances of dramatic sociopolitical change perceive the opportunity to pursue higher education and the social and personal meaning they attach to it. The Druze community on the Golan Heights serves as a case study. This community has undergone dramatic changes since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, reflected among other things by enhanced interactions with Jewish and Israeli society. The results of semi-structured interviews with young adults in the community who studied at Israeli higher education institutions indicate that interviewees perceive their studies as increasing their sense of security. While some interviewees described rational considerations in choosing where and what to study, others made choices that in the short term might lead to economic losses. Nevertheless, their rationalization of these choices based upon preserving the local social fabric can contribute to their sense of security in the long run. Their perceptions regarding increasing integration into Israeli society are mixed and reveal a pragmatic approach.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science