My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: V. Data Collection and Analysis

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: V. Data Collection and Analysis

It is clear that any friendship is affected by socio-economic factors (Allan, 1998). Looking at the cultural influences of social class makes things even more complicated (Howard & Tappan, 2009). I was raised on Western upper middle class values, while Bashar was raised on Middle-Eastern lower middle class values. Although my socio-economic status is lower than that of my parents, as compared to Israeli standards I believe I still would be considered upper middle class. Bashar moved up in socio-economic status, and in comparison with Palestinian society, he probably would be considered upper middle class as well. Nevertheless, his values and attitudes are likely to be more similar to those common in Israeli or Dutch working class, than to those common in the Israeli or Dutch upper middle class.

With little knowledge of another cultural group, it is easy to over generalize and to use stereotypes. In fact, much has been written about the stereotyping of the Orient by Western powers (Said, 1985; Varisco, 2007). It is therefore of great importance to realize the diversity within diverse groups (Jones, 2010). The Israeli and Dutch populations (and to lesser degree the Palestinian and Bedouin populations) consist of subcultures, all of which influence the dominant culture and those individuals living in these cultures. Moreover, within each religion there are subcultures, with rather divergent life styles. In sum, the cultural identities of each of us are composite. When analyzing an individual, it is likely to be an impossible venture to disentangle personal from cultural variables, since, there is a complex relationship between personal narratives of identity and the master narratives of our societies (Hammack, 2008).


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About the Author

Daniel WeishutDaniel J.N. Weishut, born in the Netherlands but living in Jerusalem, is a professional with a diverse background. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MBA in Integrative Business Administration, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PsyD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has about thirty years of experience in consultation and therapy with a wide variety of clients and issues, more than twenty years of practice in group facilitation, and over fifteen years of know-how in governance and management in various organizations.Daniel Weishut offers his services as a "Partner on the Way", while taking a world-view that people are diverse but equal. He works with a variety of clients, but his special interest is in work with those who have found themselves persecuted or otherwise in conflict with their social environment, because of their culture, identity or belief system. For example: migrants, expats, refugees, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, pacifists, and individuals from religious, cultural or sexual minorities. Daniel Weishut is a social activist and in this capacity he volunteers as Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy, as Member of the Membership Appeals Committee of Amnesty International and as forensic expert for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. He also is involved in raising awareness about the situation of Bedouins around Jerusalem; awareness which led among others to the writing of his dissertation "My friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: Challenges and opportunities in intercultural friendship".

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