My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IV.Methodology of the Study

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IV.Methodology of the Study

When friendships do develop across social groups, the bonds take on political dimensions. Opportunities exist for dual consciousness-raising and for members of dominant groups (e.g., men, Euro-Americans, Christians, and heterosexuals) to serve as advocates for friends in target groups. As a result, those who are “just friends” can become just friends, interpersonal and political allies who seek personal growth, meaningful relationships, and social justice (Seeman, 2002), p. 731).

This is what this study is about. It is based on one single case of friendship; a friendship between Bashar, a Muslim Palestinian man of Bedouin descent, and me, a Jewish Israeli man of Dutch origin. Understanding the development of cultural practices is a long-term endeavor (Rogoff, 2003). The friendship exists since 2003, whereas my involvement with other Palestinian Bedouins and participation in Palestinian life began in 2008. Descriptive data of the friendship will be provided to a) illustrate and validate dimensions of cultural difference in the encounter, and b) portray the inherent challenges and opportunities I ran into.

Case selection

This study is a case study. “Case study research excels at bringing us to an understanding of a complex issue or object and can extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous research” (Soy, 1997). Case studies have been especially helpful in creating high levels of conceptual validity, deriving new hypotheses, exploring causal mechanisms, and modeling and assessing complex causal relations (George & Bennett, 2005).

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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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