My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VII. Cultural Differences–Honor and Aggression

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VII. Cultural Differences–Honor and Aggression

We may define face as “the respectability and/or deference which a person can claim for himself from others, by virtue of the relative position he occupies in his social network and the degree to which he is judged to have functioned adequately in that position as well as acceptably in his general conduct” (Ho, 1976, p. 883). The concept of “face” has its origin in Asian cultures, but each person, culture and society has its face-saving practices, which in many Western cultures may be named tact, diplomacy or social skills. People may want to save their own face, but also that of others. Furthermore, in cultures with high emphasis on face one can expect to be sustained in a particular face, and feel that it is morally proper that this be so. Moreover, face is something that can be given to others (Goffman, 1955). The importance of “face” was found to be related both to the individualism/collectivism distinction and to power distance. Communities with a higher level of collectivism and those higher on power distance tend to be more concerned with “face” (Oetzel et al., 2001).

Facework are “the actions taken by a person to make whatever he is doing consistent with face” (Goffman, 1955, p. 12). Facework is performed to protect one’s face from threat, possibly by avoidance or through corrective processes, and sometimes in aggressive ways (Goffman, 1955). Awareness to issues of face and facework were suggested as crucial in intercultural relations, and in specific in intercultural training (Imahori & Cupach, 2005; Ting-Toomey & Kurogi, 1998).


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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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