My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: II. Why Study Intercultural Friendships?
In Part III, the friendship will be analyzed through the perspective of cultural dimensions or value orientations, as found by Hofstede (2001). The analysis of the cultural differences will be performed through the discussion of selected topics for each of the dimensions: individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance and masculinity/femininity. As will be shown, the differences affecting the friendship are tremendous on each of the dimensions. Since the impressions from the friendship as regarding “uncertainty avoidance” do not fit the theory well, it is suggested to divide the field of “uncertainty avoidance” into two separate dimensions, namely “tradition” and “discipline”. The disparity on the dimension of “tradition” does not seem to bring about major challenges or opportunities within the realm of the friendship, whereas the opposite is true for the dimension of “discipline”.
Bridging cultural differences involved emotional, cognitive and behavioral challenges, but provided opportunities as well. Challenges and opportunities will be explained in detail and illustrated expansively by stories from the friendship. Among others, I will discuss having a first birthday at 34, crossing the border between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, working at the garage, getting stuck in a traffic jam, being a man, dancing with a drug dealer and losing calmness over the sister of Moustafa’s wife. Some of these stories are casual and relaxed, but many are thrilling.
The dissertation will close with Part IV, which contains the conclusion of this study, referring to the important place of the dissertation within the friendship and the challenges in studying a friendship. It also relates to the process of transformative learning, value change and personal growth because of the intercultural encounter. This is followed by possible implications of the study for the field of psychology and for social justice.