A Comparison Study of Traditional Helpers in a Late Nineteenth Century Canadian (Christian) Society in Toronto, Canada and in a Late Twentieth Century Bedouin (Muslim) Society in the Negev, Israel Academic Article uri icon


  • This study compares the practice significance of two distinct models of traditional helping: a religiously inspired Protestant approach in late nineteenth century Toronto, Canada; and the Dervish, a religiously imbued traditional helper in a contemporary Bedouin Muslim community in the Negev, Israel Among major similarities are gender inclusiveness, the lack of explicit restrictions on the basis of age or education, the enabling of women as helpers to overcome predominant social constructions of gender, and a religious basis of the helping process itself. Differences were found in the acquisition of social status, and in methodologies of helping. One way for social work to be more sensitive to traditional populations is to realize the commonalities which exist among “modem” and “traditional” helping models.

publication date

  • January 1, 1996