Future Orientation in a Traditional Society: Higher Education and the Israeli Druze

By Deborah Court and Randa Abbas.

Published by The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article presents findings from an in-depth qualitative study of the Israeli Druze community, focusing on the community’s struggle to retain their traditions and protect their religion in an era of global communications and rapid societal change, especially the move to higher education. Sixty semi-structured interviews were conducted with Israeli Druze in their forties and fifties, and 60 with their young adult children. Findings show that both young adults and their parents’ generation see higher education for young people as key to economic success and to personal fulfillment. Pursuing higher education means compromising on some religious rules. Yet there is universal commitment to maintaining the Druze values and way of life. This is a traditional society that, so far, is still deeply grounded in Druze religious values while the younger generation makes the inevitable leap into the future through higher education. The study reveals the characteristics of the Druze community in terms of tradition and change, with higher education marking a permeable boundary between these two uneasy companions.

Keywords: Education, Religion, Values

The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.9-17. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 298.286KB).

Dr. Deborah Court

Associate Professor, School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, Israel

Dr. Randa Abbas

Lecturer, Education, The Academic Arab College for Education in Israel, Western Galilee College, Israel