The current study identified factors contributing to the long-term perception of meaningful civic engagement in a sample of Israelis involved in extra-curricular civic-engagement programs as students. Using a qualitative research method supported by quantitative analyses, we found that five to 10 years after completing higher education, most perceived their civic engagement positively. Nevertheless, it was not necessarily perceived as a personal transformative experience which led to future civic engagement. Three major factors that contributed to the establishment of a meaningful experience which lead to long-term commitment were identified: (1) Conceptualizing personal development as embedded in the socio-political context; (2) Experiencing peer-group civic engagement as a place for self-reflection, support, and meaning; (3) Continuity and a sufficient duration of civic engagement to generate a change in the community. Palestinian citizens of Israel reported that civic engagement was more meaningful than Jewish students, who constitute the majority in Israel.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The study was funded by The Rothschild Caesarea Foundation.
© 2018, © 2018 Society for Research into Higher Education.
- Civic engagement
- community development
- higher education
ASJC Scopus subject areas