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

Schwartz’s classification

The Israeli social psychologist Shalom Schwartz has studied personal values since the eighties in over 70 countries. His work was incorporated in the European Social Survey. He initially was concerned with values on the individual level, and only in recent years started to study the country level (Schwartz, 2011). He first described ten types of universal values: achievement, benevolence, conformity, hedonism, power, security, self-direction, stimulation, tradition, and universalism (Schwartz, 1992). He then provided a map of values on the country-level that is dissimilar from the one he developed for the individual level, and more sophisticated than the one suggested by Inglehart (Schwartz, 2006). Measured with the widely used Schwartz Value Survey, value orientations showed substantial structural similarity across individual and country levels (Fischer et al., 2010).

In his map of country-level values, Schwartz (2011) depicts three cultural dimensions. The first dimension, autonomy versus embeddedness, refers to the relationship between the person and the group.

In autonomy cultures, people are viewed as autonomous, bounded entities. They should cultivate and express their own preferences, feelings, ideas, and abilities, and find meaning in their own uniqueness. There are two types of autonomy: Intellectual autonomy encourages individuals to pursue their own ideas and intellectual directions independently. […] Affective autonomy encourages individuals to pursue affectively positive experience for themselves. […] In cultures with an emphasis on embeddedness, people are viewed as entities embedded in the collectivity. Meaning in life comes largely through social relationships, through identifying with the group, participating in its shared way of life, and striving toward its shared goals (p. 140).


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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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