Higher Education

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 933–948 | Cite as

“Sense of place” and college placement

  • Shlomo Getz
  • Lilach lev-Ari


It is generally assumed that young people with lower socioeconomic status (SES) face restricted access to higher education institutions, and particularly to those which are considered to be more prestigious. Differences in student placement in higher education institutions by place of residence are usually explained by their SES. We argue that place of residence is not only a geographical attribute, but also a social factor that influences self-identity and plays a significant role in student placement regardless of their SES. The study was conducted in Israel among first year undergraduate students, and analyzed the effect of living in four residential locality types (cities, small towns, Jewish and Arab villages) on institutional placement. The study focused on the patterns of student placement in institutions, controlling for individual SES and previous academic ability. Findings indicate that place of residence has a net effect on student placement, and it interacts with SES and with previous academic achievements. Less “successful” students, regardless of their SES, are less influenced by their residential locality. These differences in college placement are explained in part by the place of residence, which represents a way of life that creates a shared “sense of place” or “habitus” based on locality.


College placement College choice Place of residence Sense of place Habitus 


  1. Aschaffenburg, K., & Ineke, M. (1997). Cultural and educational careers: the dynamics of social reproduction. American Sociological Review, 62, 573–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ayalon, H. (2008). Social implications of the expansion and diversification of higher education in Israel. Israeli Sociology, 10(1), 33–60 (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  3. Ayalon, H., and Yogev, A. (2002). Field of study and student’s stratification in the Israeli expanded system of higher Education. Paper presented to the meeting of ISA research committee on social stratification and mobility. Oxford, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  4. Ayalon, H., & Yogev, A. (2005). Field of study and students’ stratification in an expanded system of higher education: the case of Israel. European Sociological Review, 23(3), 227–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ayalon, H., & Yogev, A. (2006). Stratification and diversity in the expanded system of higher education in Israel. Higher Education Policy, 19(2), 187–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bar-Haim, E., Yaish, M., & Shavit, Y. (2008). Up the down escalators: expansion and stratification in education. Israeli Sociology, 10(1), 61–80 (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  7. Beller, M. (2001). Admission to higher education in Israel and the role of the psychometric entrance test: educational and political dilemmas. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 8(3), 315–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ben-Ari, R. (1977). Alternative teaching methods. In Y. Kashti, M. Arieli, & S. Shlasky (Eds.), Teaching and education: An Israeli lexicon (pp. 95–96). Israel: Ramot, the University of Tel–Aviv (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  9. Bolotin-Chachashvili, S., Shavit, Y., & Ayalon, C. (2002). The broadening of higher education and its stratificational implications in Israel 1980–1996. Israeli Sociology , 4(2), 317–347 (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  10. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A social critique of the judgment of taste. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Brint, S., & Clotfelter, C. T. (2016). U.S. higher education effectiveness. Journal of the Social Sciences, 2(1), 2–37.Google Scholar
  12. Clausen, S. E. (1998). Applied correspondence analysis: An introduction. In Sage University papers series on quantitative applications in the social sciences 7-121. Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, J. and Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis in behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: ErlbaumGoogle Scholar
  14. Corak, M. (2013). Income inequality, equality of opportunity, and intergenerational mobility. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 79–102Google Scholar
  15. Council of higher education. (2009). Report for the years 2006-2008. Jerusalem, the planning and budgeting committee. (Hebrew)Google Scholar
  16. Dar, Y., & Getz, S. (2007). Learning ability, socioeconomic status, and student placement for undergraduate studies in Israel. Higher Education, 54, 41–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Datel, R. E. & Dingemans, D. J. (1984). Environmental perception, historical preservation, and sense of place. In T. F. Saarinen, D. Seamon, & J. L. Sell (Eds.), Environmental perception and behavior: An inventory and prospect. Research Paper 209 (pp. 131–144). Chicago: University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  18. Densler, S. and Wolter, S.C. (2011). Too fFar to gGo? Does distance determine study choice? Discussion paper no. 5712, Institute for the Study of LaborGoogle Scholar
  19. Doey, L., & Kurta, J. (2011). Correspondence analysis applied to psychological research. Tutorials in Quantitative Methods for Psychology, 7(1), 5–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Getz, S. (2010). Higher education preferences in Israel: Center and periphery compare. In G. T. Papanikos & N. Pappas (Eds.) Problems and prospects in higher education (Chapter 14, pp. 153–166). Atiner, Athens.Google Scholar
  21. Guri-Rosenblit, S. (1999). Changing boundaries in Israeli higher education. Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, 4, 91–114.Google Scholar
  22. Hearn, J. C. (1991). Academic and nonacademic influences on the college destinations of 1980 high school graduates. Sociology of Education, 64, 158–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hershkovitz, S. (Ed.) (1997). The Higher Education System in Israel – trends and development. Jerusalem: the council for higher erducation (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  24. Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (2010) Higher education in Israel – 2008. Publication no. 1388, Jerusalem, CBS. (Hebrew)Google Scholar
  25. Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics (2013). Statistical abstract of Israel 2013. Jerusalem: CBS (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  26. Kahana, F. (2011). Neither town nor village. Ramat Efal, Israel: Yad Tabenkin (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  27. Karabel, J. (1986). Community colleges and social stratification in the 1980s. In L. S. Zwerling (Ed.), The community college and its critics (pp. 13–30). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  28. Lee, M. (1997). Relocating location: cultural geography, the specificity of place and the city habitus. In J. McGuigan (Ed.), Cultural Methodologies (pp. 126–141). London: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lev-Ari, L., & Getz, S. (2014). Peripheriality and higher educational choices among undergraduate students. Israeli Sociology, 15(1), 360–388 (Hebrew).Google Scholar
  30. Lichter, D. L., & Brown, D. T. (2011). Rural America in an urban Society: changing spatial and social boundaries. Annual Review of Sociology, 37, 565–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Löw, M. (2013). The city as experiential space: the production of shared meaning. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(3), 894–908.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lucas, S. R. (2001). Effectively maintained inequality: education transitions, track mobility, and social background effects. American Journal of Sociology, 106, 1642–1690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Menard, S. (1995). Applied logistic regression analysis. Sage university papers on Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences 07-106. Baverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Shai, S. (1996) Accessibility to higher education: Public opinion. Jerusalem:The institute for applied social research. (Hebrew)Google Scholar
  35. Shwed, U., & Shavit, Y. (2006). Occupational and economic attainments of college and university graduates in Israel. European Sociological Review, 22(4), 431–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Steelman, L. C., & Powell, B. (1991). Sponsoring the next generation: parental willingness to pay for higher education. American Journal of Sociology, 96, 1505–1529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Svirsky, S. (2004). Inequality in education and the social and economic development policy in Israel. In D. Golan-Agnon (Ed.), Inequality in education (pp. 22–41) (Hebrew). Tel Aviv: Babel.Google Scholar
  38. Swirski, S., & Swirski, B. (1998). Higher education in Israel. The Israel. Equality Monitor, 8, 4–24.Google Scholar
  39. Trow, M. A. (1984). The analysis of status. In B. R. Clark (Ed.), Perspectives on higher education: eight disciplinary and comparative views (pp. 132–165). Berkley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  40. Truly, R. L. (2009). College proximity: mapping access to opportunity. Sociology of Education, 82, 126–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Van Ommeren, J., & Rietveld, P. (2005). The commuting time paradox. Journal of Urban Economics, 58(3), 437–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Volonsky, A. (2004) Academy in a changing environment: HE policy of Israel 1952–2004. Tel-Aviv, Hakibbutz Hameuchad. (Hebrew)Google Scholar
  43. Volansky, A. (2005). Academy in a changing environment. Higher Education Policy of Israel 1952-2004. (Hebrew)Google Scholar
  44. Wester-Herber, M. (2004). Underlying concerns in land-use conflicts: the role of place-identity in risk perception. Environmental Science & Policy, 7(2), 109–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wirth, L. (1938). Urbaniasm as a way of life. Americam Journal of Sociology, 44(1), 1–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Yogev, A. (2000). The stratification of Israeli universities: implications for higher education policy. Higher Education, 40(2), 183–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyThe Max Stern Academic CollegeEmek JezreelIsrael
  2. 2.Institute for the Research of the KibbutzUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Oranim Academic College of EducationTivonIsrael

Personalised recommendations