Group work with the bedouin population of the negev

Leah Kacen, Jon Anson, Shoshana Nir, No'ah Livneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Bedouin living in the Negev desert, in the south of Israel, are undergoing a rapid and dramatic process of sedenterization. In 1986 a group of social work students surveyed the needs of one of the tribes who were transferred from pastoralism to a new urban settlement when a military airport was built on their old settlement area following the Camp David Peace Treaty. The survey showed a variety of urgent needs, particularly among adolescents about to finish their high school studies. We report here on group interventions with these young men and women, led by Bedouin students, aimed at helping them reach decisions about their future. The groups used the opportunity to discuss and share with others their feelings about marriage, career choice and planning their future, though there were clear differences between the dynamics and the content of the male and female groups. We discuss the reasons for these differences, as well as the extent to which the groups were thus able to fulfill the safety valve role of traditional social networks which, because of the turmoil created by the physical and social changes undergone by the community, were unable to fulfill their, roles as in the past. We argue that the group formed a stable social resource in a confused environment, characterized by tension between the individual and the society, and an important point of contact on the boundary between the Bedouin and the surrounding society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Work with Groups
Volume15
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - 26 Jan 1993

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