Critical Pedagogy in a Conflicted Society: Israel as a Case Study

Moshe Levy, Yair Galily

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this research is to examine how a different critical perspectives are being accepted by Israeli students from different groups and minorities (Jewish, Muslim, women, men, Ashkenazi, Mizrahi, middle class, and lower class) who attended sociology classes that took place in four different Israeli academic institutions. The social heterogeneity of the students in these geographically scattered institutions, together with the turbulent political and social times experienced by Israeli society during the process of data collection, enabled different comparisons that shed a new light on the role of the critical knowledge reproduced in the educational systems of conflicted societies. This research found that while the feminist and elite perspectives incurred overall positive reactions from most students, the remaining three perspectives (Post Colonialism, Marxism, and Pluralist Theory) provoked the students and frequently encountered antagonism. These reactions indicated that most students adopted a critical theory only when it promised to provide them with an advantage over competing groups. Accordingly, "critical" perspectives were rejected by students when they were perceived as endangering the interests and position of the groups to which they belonged. Thus, the findings of this research show that studying "critical" theories towards Israeli society does not develop universalistic points of view that perceive equality and freedom as rights to which all human beings are eligible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2011


  • critical pedagogy
  • critical theories
  • Israel
  • sociology


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