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

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

Daniel Weishut, Psy.D.

When referring to conflict it is inevitable to relate to issues of aggression, power and honor. The concept of honor is central in Arab culture and not obeying to rules of honor may result in aggressive reactions. Moreover, the aggressive atmosphere and large power differentials are blatant in the cultural context of the studied friendship. Issues of honor, power and aggression exist also within the friendship itself, as will be described later.

Face and Honor

The literature refers to the concepts of face and honor separately, and chooses the use of one or the other depending on the culture(s) in discussion, with the use of the concept of face usually preserved for cultures in the Far East. However, the two concepts seem to be closely linked and sometimes even indistinguishable, and therefore they will be discussed here together. Although we may dispute this conception, face is considered more inclusive than honor, while honor could be viewed as a special kind of face that is claimed by certain groups in society. Furthermore, it was suggested that face-related issues are an inevitable component in human conflict (Ho, 1976).

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About the Author

Daniel Weishut

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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