Intercultural Friendship: The Case of a Palestinian Bedouin and a Dutch Israeli Jew


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In Intercultural Friendship: The Case of a Palestinian Bedouin and a Dutch Israeli Jew Daniel J.N. Weishut focuses on the interface between interculturality and friendship in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After a literature study, the author describes the socio-cultural context of his boundary-crossing friendship in the realm of the Israeli occupation and then investigates it through the perspective of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. The tremendous cultural differences as they appear are in line with Hofstede's theory for three of the value orientations but in the field of “uncertainty avoidance” they conflict with the theory. Challenges and opportunities in the friendship, and their implications for personal growth, among others, are illustrated by a series of intriguing stories of friendship.

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Daniel J.N. Weishut, Psy.D., M.B.A. (1963), a clinical psychologist and social activist, teaches at Hadassah Academic College, Department of Social Work (Jerusalem) and the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has published on interculturality and other subjects.
"This book is a highly interesting case study of a friendship between a Palestinian Bedouin and an Israeli of Dutch origin, with autoethnography as the main methodology. This original text tells a fascinating story that contains important insights and lessons about intercultural friendship. It contributes to the application of theories of cultural dimensions and comparative study of values and to the use of such theories in qualitative research. This book will be of high relevance to social psychologists working on values, friendship and intercultural psychology; to anthropologists and to educationalists. Some parts of it can also be of interest to scholars of Israeli society and the Middle East and to scholars of conflict and peace studies." — Chen Bram, Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Hadassah Academic College, Jerusalem
"In a world riven with strife and subject to instantaneous cross-cultural communication, how does one make peace? How does one get to ‘know’ the other? In this book, Daniel Weishut, a trained psychotherapist, a researcher with a doctorate in cultural psychology, a human rights activist, and a Dutchman who has chosen to live and serve in Israel, shares with the reader his path in getting to know another, Ahmad, a Bedouin Muslim sheikh and a Palestinian who lives on the other side of the separation wall that divides between Israelis and Palestinians. [...] As Weishut, whom I have known for many years and whose work and family I have followed for a long time, writes on p. 1, ‘The fact that someone can perceive the world in such a different way than I used to do was for me an eye-opener, even though I was trained as a psychologist’. This is true for the reader, too." — David R. Blumenthal, Emory University
List of Illustrations


Part 1: Autoethnography of an Intercultural Friendship

Introduction to Part 1

1 Writing about Oneself
 1 Relevance and Intent
 2 The Two Friends
  2.1 Ahmad
  2.2 Daniel
  2.3 Our Friendship
 3 A Case Study
  3.1 Narrative Research
  3.2 Friendship Research
  3.3 Case Selection
 4 Studying Stories
  4.1 Observations as Data
  4.2 Methodological Concerns
  4.3 Cultural Relativism

2 When Cultures Meet
 1 Identity and Value Orientations
  1.1 Culture and Social Identity
  1.2 Value Orientations
 2 The Intercultural Encounter
  2.1 Intercultural Communication
  2.2 Intercultural Conflict
 3 Honor and Aggression
  3.1 Face and Honor
  3.2 Aggression

3 The Worlds We Live In
 1 My World
  1.1 The Dutch
  1.2 The Israelis
 2 His World
  2.1 The Palestinian Arabs
  2.2 The Bedouins
 3 Dealing with Conflict
  3.1 The Israeli–Palestinian Conflict
  3.2 Bedouins, Law, and Conflict
  3.3 The “sulha”

4 All about Friendship
 1 Patterns of Friendship
  1.1 Characteristics
  1.2 Gender and Culture
 2 Intercultural Friendship
  2.1 Commonalities
  2.2 Opportunities for Interaction
 3 Friendship in the Realm of Conflict
  3.1 Jewish–Arab Dialogue
  3.2 The Israeli Occupation

Part 2: Four Cultural Dimensions

Introduction to Part 2

5 Individualism versus Collectivism
 1 Perceptions of Friendship
  1.1 Privacy and Togetherness
  1.2 Who Is a Friend?
 2 Getting Acquainted
  2.1 Names
  2.2 Greeting Behavior
 3 Meals and Celebrations
  3.1 Meals
  3.2 Celebrations
 4 Work Attitudes
  4.1 Labor and Leisure
  4.2 Child Labor
 5 Friendship and Politics
  5.1 The Wrong Side of Society
  5.2 Social Support
 6 Conclusion: Individualism versus Collectivism

6 Uncertainty Avoidance
 1 Language and Communication
  1.1 Verbal and Non-verbal Communication
  1.2 A Foreign Language
 2 Mine and Yours
  2.1 Finances and Favors
  2.2 Possessions
 3 Time and Space
  3.1 Flexibility of Time
  3.2 Flexibility of Space
 4 Planning
  4.1 Making a Plan
  4.2 Reaching Agreement
 5 Taking Risks
  5.1 Physical and Other Risks
  5.2 Giving Trust
 6 Conclusion: Uncertainty Avoidance

7 Masculinity and Femininity
 1 Women and Men
  1.1 Gender Roles
  1.2 Segregation
 2 Being a Man
  2.1 Emotional Expression
  2.2 Physical Appearance
 3 Survival of the Fittest
  3.1 Strength
  3.2 Violence
 4 Conclusion: Masculinity and Femininity

8 Power Distance
 1 Honor and Dignity
  1.1 Honor and the Family
  1.2 Dignity and Respect
 2 Authority
  2.1 Rules and Leadership
  2.2 The Oldest Son
 3 The Occupation
  3.1 Wealth and Poverty
  3.2 Freedom
 4 Conclusion: Power Distance

9 Challenges and Opportunities
 1 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
  1.1 The Use of Hofstede’s Theory
  1.2 Four Dimensions
 2 Studying My Friendship with Ahmad
  2.1 Studying Our Friendship
  2.2 Representativeness
 3 Personal Growth
  3.1 Transformative Learning
  3.2 Value Change
 4 Implications and Recommendations
  4.1 Cultural Psychology
  4.2 Multicultural Personality
  4.3 Prejudice and Social Injustice


Those interested in the fields of psychology, sociology, anthropology and education, and especially those concerned with the study of intercultural communication, friendship, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and/or peace-making.
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