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

Twenty years later, Hall & Hall (1990) come with new insight:

Monochronic people do one thing at a time, concentrate on the job, take time commitments (deadlines, schedules) seriously, are low context and need information, are committed to the job, adhere religiously to plans, are concerned about not disturbing others and follow rules of privacy and consideration, show great respect for private property and seldom borrow or lend, emphasize promptness and are accustomed to short-term relationships. Polychronic people do many things at once, are easily distracted and subject to interruption, consider time commitments an objective to be achieved, are high context and already have information, are committed to people and human relationships, change plans often and easily, are more concerned with people closely related (family, friends, close business associates) than with privacy, borrow and lend things often and easily, base promptness on the relationship, have strong tendency to build lifetime relationships (p. 15).

Dominant Euro-American cultures – my background – were described as being low-context and following monochronic time. In contrast, dominant Latin and Middle-Eastern cultures – the latter being my friend’s background – were described as being high-context and following polychronic time.


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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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