The aim of this chapter is to identify unique features of intimate friendship and peer relationships in two cultures within Israel. It is assumed that both groups share core collectivistic characteristics, including a strong sense of belonging to their community, priority of the community over the individual in terms of interest and decision making, duty to the community, and norms of getting along with members of their community (Oyserman, Coon, & Kemmelmeir, 2002; Triandis, 1995). Generally, the Israeli Arab society is a collectivistic and traditional society that is moving toward modernity and thus adopting more individualistic features. The kibbutz society is perhaps an extreme example of a collectivistic society, composed of communes, with shared ownership of their properties and commitments to collective decision making about individuals (therefore, we use the terms communal to describe it). Today the kibbutz is moving rapidly toward privatization, letting go of its communal structure, but retaining its collectivistic features. These two societies are both minorities in a country where urban Jewish society and a Western economy predominate. We describe the two cultures within Israel, their similarities and differences, looking for possible common features (Sharabany & Schneider, 2004). The central premise considered in this chapter is that, based on two Israeli cultures, it seems likely that in some collectivistic societies dyadic friendship with a specific person, such as a best friend, may be characterized by reduced intimacy (French, 2004).
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2006 and Cambridge University Press, 2009.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychology (all)