ABSTRACT The present paper addresses a timely topic by exploring the contribution of cultural, ethnic, and contextual attributes to close relationships within particular armed-political conflict. It is based on a series of studies to examine the daily lives of Jews and Arabs with different cultural orientations within the context of armed political conflict. In Study 1, we surveyed 697 Jewish and 300 Arab respondents to examine the extent to which daily occurrences are similarly experienced as stressful by different cultural and socio-political groups and how those occurrences relate to life and marital satisfaction. In Study 2, we employed a daily diary methodology with a sample of 300 couples to explore how daily fluctuations in psychological well-being and marital relationships relate to daily hassles. Security-related stress was perceived as the main source of stress for both Jews and Arabs, but on a daily basis it had little or no effect on well-being and marital relationships. The findings attest to the significance of the socio-political context within which people of different ethnic and cultural identity experience their daily lives. In so doing, this article advances new directions for theory and research.
Cite this paper
nullBen-Ari, A. & Lavee, Y. (2011). How does Socio-Political Context Shape Daily Living: The Case of Jews and Arabs in Israel. Psychology, 2, 1-11. doi: 10.4236/psych.2011.21001.
 Abdela, L. (2003). Kosovo: Missed opportunities, lessons for the future. Development in Practice, 13, 208-216. doi:10.1080/09614520302942
 Babbie, E. (1989). The practice of social research (5th edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
 Cassidy, T. (2000). Stress, healthiness and health behaviours: An exploration of the role of life events, daily hassles, cognitive appraisal and the coping process. Counseling Psychology Quarterly, 13, 293- 311. doi:10.1080/09515070010028679
 Central Bureau of Statistics, (2008). Statistical abstracts of Israel. Jerusalem, Israel: Author.
 Cooper, C., & Denner, J. (1998). Theories linking culture and psychology: Universal and community-specific processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 559-584. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.49.1.559
 DeLongis, A., Coyne, J. C., Dakof, G., Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1982). The relationship of hassles, uplifts, and major life events to health status. Health Psychology, 1, 119-136.
 DeLongis, A., Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1988). The impact of daily stress on health and mood: Psychological and social resources as mediators. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 486-495. doi:10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1996
 Florian, V., Mikulincer, M., & Weller, A. (1993). Does culture affect perceived family dynamics? A comparison of Arab and Jewish adolescents in Israel. Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 24, 189-201.
 Hahn, S. E., & Smith, C. S. (1999). Daily hassles and chronic stressors: Conceptual and measurement issues. Stress Medicine, 15, 89-101.
 Haj-Yahia, M. (1997). Culturally sensitive supervision of Arab social work students in Western Universities. Social Work, 42, 166-174.
 Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
 Hughes, D., Seidman, E., & Williams, N. (1993). Cultural phenomena and the research enterprise: Toward a culturally anchored methodology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 21, 687-703.
 Johnson, J. G. & Sherman, M. F. (1997). Daily hassles mediate the relationship between major life events and psychiatric symptomatology: Longitudinal findings from an adolescent sample. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 16, 389-404.
 Karney, B., Story, L. B., & Bradbury, T. N. (2005). Marriages in context: Interaction between chronic and acute stress among newlyweds. In T. A. Revenson, K. Kayser, & G. Bodenmann (Eds.), Couples coping with stress: Emerging perspectives on dyadic coping. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
 Kashima, E. S., & Hardie, E. A. (2000). The development and validation of the Relational, Individual, and Collective self aspects (RCI) scale. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 3, 19-48.
 Kitayama, S., Duffy, S., & Uchida, Y. (2007). Self as cultural mode of being. In S. Kitayama & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 136-174). New York: Guilford.
 Kitayama, S., Markus, H. R., & Lieberman, C. (1995). The collective construction of self esteem: Implications for culture, self, and emotion. In J. A. Russell, J. M. Fernandez-Dols, A. S. Manstead, & J. C. Wellenkamp (Eds.), Everyday conception of emotion (pp. 523-552). Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
 Laungani, P. (1995). Stress in Eastern and Western cultures. Stress and Emotion: Anxiety, Anger, and Curiosity, 15, 265-280.
 Laungani, P. (2001). The influence of culture on stress: India and England. In L. L. Adler & U. P. Gielen (Eds.), Cross cultural topics in psychology (pp. 149-169). Westport, CT: Praeger.
 Lavee, Y., & Ben-Ari, A. (2003). Daily stresses and uplifts during times of political tension: Jews and Arabs in Israel. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 7, 65-73. doi:10.1037/0002-94188.8.131.52
 Lavee, Y., & Ben-Ari, A. (2008). The association of daily hassles and uplifts with family and life satisfaction: Does cultural orientation make a difference? American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 89-98. doi:10.1007/s10464-007-9146-8
 Lavee, Y., & Katz, R. (2003). The family in Israel: Between tradition and modernity. Marriage and Family Review, 35, 193-217.
 Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (2003). Models of agency: Sociocultural diversity in the construction of action. In V. Murphy-Berman & J. Berman (Eds.), Cross-cultural differences in perspectives on the self (pp. 18-74). Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
 Matsumoto, D., Takeuchi, S., Andayani, S., Kouznetsova, N., & Krupp, D. (1998). The contribution of individualism vs. collectivism to cross-national differences in display rules. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 1, 147-165. doi:10.1111/1467-839X.00010
 Mesquita, B., & Frijda, N. H. (1992). Cultural variations in emotions: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 179-204.
 Milgram, N. (1993). War-related trauma and victimization: Principles of traumatic stress prevention in Israel. In J. P. Wilson & B. Raphael (Eds.), International handbook of traumatic stress syndromes (pp. 811-820). New York: Plenum.
 O’Donnell, C. R. (2006). Beyond diversity: Toward a cultural community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 37, 1-7. doi:10.1007/s10464-005-9010-7
 Oyserman, D., & Lee, S. W. S. (2008). Does culture influence what and how we think? Effects of priming individualism and collectivism. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 311-342.
 Scherer, K. R. (1997). The role of culture in emotion-antecedent appraisal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 902-922.
 Slavin, L. A., Rainer, K. L., McCreary, M. L., & Gowda, K. K. (1991). Toward a multicultural model of the stress process. Journal of Counseling and Development, 70, 156-163
 Smith, P. B., & Bond, M. H. (1993). Social Psychology across cultures: Analysis and perspectives. Hemel Hempstead, England: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
 Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview.
 Triandis, H. C. (2001). Individualism-collectivism and personality. Journal of Personality, 69, 907-924. doi:10.1111/1467-6494.696169
 Triandis, H. C., Leung, K., Villareal, M., & Clack, F. L. (1985). Allocentric vs. idiocentric tendencies: Convergent and discriminant validation. Journal of Research in Personality, 19, 395-415.
 Uchida, Y., Kitayama, S., Mesquita, B., Reyes, J. A. S., & Morling, B (2008). Is perceived emotional support beneficial? Well-being and health in independent and interdependent cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 741-754.
 Van Eck, M., Nicolson, N. A., & Berkhof, J. (1998). Effects of stressful daily events on mood states: Relationship to global perceived stress. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1572-1585.
 Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063-1070. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2063
 Williams, R., Zyzanski, S., & Wright, A. L. (1992). Life events and daily hassles and uplifts as predictors of hospitalization and outpatient visitation. Social Science and Medicine, 34, 763-768.
 Wolf, T. M., Elston, R. C., & Kissling, G. E. (1989). Relationship of hassles, uplifts, and life events to psychological well being of freshmen medical students. Behavioral Medicine, 15, 37-45.