Social Justice, Identity Politics, and Integration in Conflict-Ridden Societies

Challenges and Opportunities in Integrated Palestinian—Jewish Education in Israel

Authored by: Zvi Bekerman

Handbook of Social Justice in Education

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  June  2009

Print ISBN: 9780805859270
eBook ISBN: 9780203887745
Adobe ISBN: 9781135596149


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The arguments I put forward in the following chapter have been in the making for a long time. Put succinctly, I claim that it is mainly class interests and not multicultural interests that guide even well-intentioned, bottom-up, educational initiatives declaratively geared toward recognition, inclusion, and coexistence. As such, these educational settings are shown to further social justice only for those who already enjoy it. These arguments stem from seven years of ethnographic research in an outstanding educational initiative in Israel. This initiative attempts to educate a new generation of students toward mutual recognition, coexistence, and reconciliation through the creation of integrated bilingual schools where Palestinians (Palestinians living in the State of Israel) and Jews learn together. The insights I offer here do not contradict previous findings. Rather, they add to their complexity and emphasize the importance of longitudinal research in education and the need to account for ever expanding contexts within which to situate our interpretations.

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