Academic journal article International Education Studies

The Dimensions of the Citizenship Concept among the Jordanian University Students

Academic journal article International Education Studies

The Dimensions of the Citizenship Concept among the Jordanian University Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

This study examined Jordanian university students' knowledge of the citizenship concept while also aiming to reveal whether there were any statistically significant differences in students' knowledge of the citizenship concept due to gender, residence, family income, college, academic level and accumulative grade point average. The study sample comprised 900 B.A level enrolled at six Jordanian universities in the academic year 2012/2013. The research tool was a questionnaire comprising 56 items in four dimensions (identity, loyalty, pluralism, freedom and political participation). Study findings revealed a high level of knowledge of the citizenship concept the total level of the Jordanian university students' in all dimensions was high, despite a medium rating for freedom and political. Results showed statistically significant differences as follows: with regard to the gender variable on the dimensions of identity, pluralism, and freedom and political participation, in favor of males; among rural and urban students on the dimension of loyalty, in favor of rural students; on the dimension of freedom and political participation, in favor of urban students; in favor of high income students on the dimensions of identity, pluralism, freedom and political participation; among students of scientific and humanities colleges on the dimensions of pluralism and freedom and political participation, in favor of humanities colleges; with regard to student academic level on the dimensions of loyalty, pluralism, and freedom and political participation, in favor of the fourth year students. Finally, there were statistically significant differences with regard to the students' accumulative grade point average variable in favor of students with grades of excellent and very good.

Keywords: citizenship, identity, political participation

1. Introduction

As a result of wide-ranging changes involving the global balance of power and domination of a single super power axis, the appearance of economic and political coalitions, the progress of social structures which foster liberalism and its penetration through geographical and political boarders via communication technology, the focus on the individual's ultimate choices as a reference for daily political life options not only within the work arena but also the civil community and the general domain, it is not surprising that the concept of citizenship should be affected by these winds of change. In addition to the general changes however, the Arabs and the Arabian area are subject to specific changes and have consequently witnessed an obvious transformation in the content, uses, significance, and individual awareness of the principles of citizenship and its related values and behaviors, a transformation which represents a detrimental rather than a constructive tool for the fabric of society and structure of the state (Al-Amer, 2005).

Many societies became concerned by the rapid changes involving most aspects of cultural, social and economic life which consequently affected their constancy and stability and led to the appearance of generally unwelcome trends, values and behavioral patterns. As a result, many states seek to focus on the educational system as one of the most important social systems attempting not only to prepare the individual to face the future, but also to preserve the society's basic principles and values, as well as responding to national hopes and ambitions (Khaled, 2001).

The daily events evidenced in real life situations and illustrated throughout the information media, cultural and political fields reveal a clear progressive challenge for the principle of citizenship and its concepts in general, and in the Arab and Islamic world in particular. The factors behind that challenge are numerous, including social, political, cultural and intellectual variables quantified by the framework of a single global power driven by self-interest. This entity, motivated by future interests and intentions, promoted the concept of global citizenship in a new world order known as the age of globalization, sponsoring it for the purpose of becoming the dominating military power (Lee & Robbins, 1995). …

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