My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VI. Cultural Differences and the Intercultural Encounter

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VI. Cultural Differences and the Intercultural Encounter

The second dimension, egalitarianism versus hierarchy, refers to how it is guaranteed that people behave in a responsible manner preserving the social fabric.

Cultural egalitarianism seeks to induce people to recognize one another as moral equals who share basic interests as human beings. People are socialized to internalize a commitment to cooperate and to feel concern for everyone’s welfare. They are expected to act for the benefit of others as a matter of choice. […] Cultural hierarchy relies on hierarchical systems of ascribed roles to insure responsible, productive behavior. It defines the unequal distribution of power, roles, and resources as legitimate. People are socialized to take the hierarchical distribution of roles for granted and to comply with the obligations and rules attached to their roles” (p. 140-141).

The third dimension, harmony versus mastery, relates to how people relate to their environment.

Harmony emphasizes fitting into the world as it is, trying to understand and appreciate rather than to change, direct, or to exploit. […] Mastery […] encourages active self-assertion in order to master, direct, and change the natural and social environment to attain group or personal goals (p. 141).

The three dimensions were replicated in a study in which a different value survey (the Rokeach Value Survey) was used, which added a dimension of “self-fulfilled connectedness”, referring to values that represent profound attachment to others as well as attributes of self-fulfillment (Vauclair et al., 2011). It needs to be noted that there is substantial overlap between Inglehart’s traditional/secular-rational dimension and Schwartz autonomy/embeddedness dimension and between Inglehart’s survival/self-expression dimension and both Schwartz’s autonomy/embeddedness and egalitarianism/hierarchy dimensions (Schwartz, 2006). According to this latter division, seven transnational cultural groupings were identified: West Europe, English-speaking, Latin America, East Europe, South Asia, Confucian influenced, and Africa & Middle East (Schwartz, 2006). Socioeconomic, political, and demographic factors were suggested that give rise to national differences on the cultural value dimensions. The country groupings as perceived by Schwartz are highly – but not fully – similar to those found by Inglehart.


Share this:

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".

View all posts by Daniel Weishut

Leave a Reply