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Date: 2004
Author(s): Law, Lisa
Date: 2003
Abstract: Much research recognises the clinical value of considering clients' cultural context. 'Cultural competence' may be considered the balance between sensitive practice and an awareness about particular cultural groups. 'Jewishness' is a powerful influence on the majority of Jewish people, regardless of religiosity. Jewishness incorporates more than Judaism, for example, it includes Jewish history, ethnicity and culture. This research aims to help therapists work with Jewish families by familiarising them with aspects of Jewishness, in order to gain insight to the 'lived experience' of contemporary, British, Jewish families, so as to consider the potential clinical implications of Jewishness and develop cultural competence. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight British-born, culturally, rather than religiously, Jewish mothers aged between 30 and 39. The interview transcripts were analysed using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology. Ten themes (^entity', Tradition and Culture', 'Characteristics', 'Family', 'Community', 'Continuity', 'Difference and Similarity', 'Fear', 'Feelings' and 'Services') were derived from the analysis and considered in terms of clinical implications. For example, the women spoke about a (sometimes) inexplicable 'bicultural' identity and the significant impact of Jewish history. These issues may inhibit Jewish clients from speaking about the relevance of their Jewishness with non-Jewish therapists. Suggestions were made for developing a Jewish cultural, historical and political perspective, so that beliefs, behaviours and characteristics are not misinterpreted and 'therapeutic safety' for Jewish clients is maximised. Other recommendations included using cultural consultants and adopting a systemic framework. Issues that may be particularly difficult for Jewish families were discussed and recommendations for future research made.
Author(s): Moshkovitz, Yuval
Date: 2014
Abstract: This is a psychosocial research project investigating ‘national identity’ amongst middle class Jewish-Israelis in Britain. Its aim is to map key contents and highlight social categories that subjects draw on in their construction of ‘national identity’ and to study how they negotiate these categories and contents when narrating a story of ‘who they are’ as Israelis in Britain. The first part of the thesis provides historical and theoretical background to the study of national identities, with a focus on Jewish-Israeli identity in the context of Zionism. An empirical study is then presented, in which twelve Israelis living in London were interviewed in depth about their views on Israeli national identity, what it meant personally to them to be ‘an Israeli’, and what it meant to be ‘an Israeli in London’. Interviews were transcribed and a critical narrative approach was used to analyze the resulting texts, taking account of reflexive interview processes as well as exploring links with the broader cultural and political context. The findings reveal the elasticity and fluidity of ‘Israeli identity’. Subjects drew on a shared cultural reservoir - Zionist images, preconceptions and signifiers - to describe their personalized experience of belonging to or alienation from an acceptable notion of ‘Israeliness’ while living abroad. ‘Israeli identity’ was constructed against stereotypical images of ‘the others’ which, at times, applied racist discourse. Subjects constructed ‘Israeliness’ differently depending on the context they referred to (e.g. Israeli or British society). Each context had its distinct ‘others’. Within the British context Israeliness was constructed against the images of ‘the local Jews’, the ‘English’ and the ‘local Arabs and Muslims’. Constructing an Israeli identity was also influenced by the social position that subjects were implicated in, in relation to their class, ethnicity, gender, or occupation. This also shaped their experience of dislocation in Britain. Most of the participants conformed with a mainstream perspective on Israeli nationalism and refrained from criticizing it. This was interpreted as a discourse reflecting their privileged socio-cultural position in Israel and their commitment to a Zionist ethos which condemns emigration. Such a portrayal of Israeliness both initiated and contributed to a sense of unsettledness characteristic of this middle-class group. Subjects moved back and forth between two identificatory positions (‘Ha’aretz’ and ‘Israel’) as their points of identification constantly changed. The research contributes to the analysis of nationalism phenomena and associated concepts such as diaspora and belonging among a middle class group of migrants. It outlines cultural, material and political forces that sustain nationalism yet also demonstrates ways through which subjects negotiate or resist the discourses and social categories offered to them for the construction of a ‘national identity’.
Date: 2007
Abstract: The Community Engagement Programme has been part of Department of Health (DH) and
National Institute for Mental Health England (NIMHE) scheme, administered by the University of
Central Lancashire (UCLAN) through its Centre for Ethnicity and Health. In this round the over
arching aims were governed by central government priorities of Delivering Race Equality (RRE), to
enable Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community groups across the country to engage
community members (and not academics) in conducting their own research projects in relation to
mental health and race equality. As a direct result of this programme invaluable data, attitudes and
behaviours have been unearthed on the issue of mental health. Additionally in the process, many
"ordinary" community members have been given a unique opportunity to become part of the
academic world, learning about the planning, execution and actual research of the issues at hand
and some have also taken up the wonderful opportunity of qualifying in basic level research. In
respect of this report the BME was the Ultra Orthodox Jewish Community of Stamford Hill in North
London. The project was undertaken by Talking Matters, predominantly with its clients who use the
counselling and therapeutic services in its London office (there is also a Salford office). This was in
the heartland of the Chassidic community, reknown all over the world for its insular way of life,
even among other Orthodox Jewish Communities (OJC). Most of the OJC lives in the London
Borough of Hackney with about 10% in the south of Haringey.