Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sew it seams: Wearing the symbols of distant neighbors
by Einstein, Tamar Reva, Ph.D., Lesley University, 2012, 288; 3546299
Abstract (Summary)

This art-based expressive therapy study investigated opinions and feelings about cultures in the city of Jerusalem and the country of Israel at large. A coat, designed and sewn by the researcher, was covered with symbols that were identified with peoples who have been victims of violence, discrimination, dehumanization, and conflict within and across cultural groups in Jerusalem. The symbols of the cultures in Jerusalem were placed on the coat so that they touched each other at the seams. Following Phase 1 of the study, which included 24 participants, Phase 2 of the study included 4 additional participants who were selected based on being described by others as "visionary leaders." All 28 participants were asked to try on the coat and responded in writing to the research question: "What is the experience of wearing a coat sewn of multicultural symbols that are identified with cultures in Jerusalem?" Each participant was photographed wearing the coat. The 4 participants in Phase 2 were interviewed after wearing the coat.

Nineteen themes emerged from the statements, interviews, and portraits in each phase. Paintings and poems were created by the researcher in response to the interviews and photo-portraits as art-based research in Phase 3. The results of Phases 1 and 2 revealed that the 28 participants connected deeply to their own cultural identities and those of others while wearing the coat, and were able to explore and express information about cultural conflict. Based on the findings, the researcher concluded that the arts can be used as an important language and tool that has not been fully realized in cultural training, conflict resolution, peacemaking, and social activism either in Israel or globally in expressive arts therapy and related fields.

Keywords: Expressive therapy training, art-based multicultural research and education, conflict transformation and arts, multicultural coat, conflict, prejudice, culture, Jerusalem.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Forinash, Michele, Kossak, Mitchell
Commitee: Levine, Ellen
School: Lesley University
Department: Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 74/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Multicultural Education, Middle Eastern Studies, Peace Studies
Keywords: Art-based education and social action, Art-based multicultural research, Conflict transformation and the arts in jerusalem, Culture, Expressive therapy training, Multicultural coat, Symbols of distant neighbors
Publication Number: 3546299
ISBN: 978-1-267-79743-8
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