University, Community, and Shaping Regional Identity: A Case Study in Southern Israel

By Avinoam Meir and Jacquelin Duenias.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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

Universities and colleges are not merely institutes but may also be viewed as places with sense of place that reflects discourses and narratives about these geographical entities and their role within their environment. As such they develop relationships with other geographical entities that may reconstruct regional and local identities. These notions are examined in the case of a college and a neighboring small town in rural southern Israel. We demonstrate how college and town narratives shape dynamics of the relationships between them over time, and the present convergence of past polarized and conflicting identities of the regional population around a common identity centered on the emergence of the college as a dominant regional entity. These processes are framed within wider unique socio-political and academic contexts of Israeli society.

Keywords: College, Community, Geographical Entity, Relationships, Identity, Kibbutz, Development Town, Israel

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.35-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 912.327KB).

Prof Avinoam Meir

Lecturer, Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel

I received my PhD from the University of Cincinnati, USA in 1977. I am a Full Professor in social and cultural geography in the Department of Geography and Environmental Development at Ben Gurion University since 1977. My research involves two major fields: the relationships between universities and local or regional community, and pastoral peoples and the Israeli Bedouin. I have published books and articles in these fields. I am the editor of Geography Research Forum, an international journal. I have served in the past as departmental chairman and as vice-dean for regional colleges affiliated with Ben Gurion University.

Jacquelin Duenias

MA Student, Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel


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