Using Convoys of Social Relations to Understand Culture and Forgiveness from an Arab American Perspective

This chapter examines how convoys of social relations influence the experience of forgiveness among Arab American college students in the Metro Detroit area. Data are drawn from three focus group discussions held at three different types (small, medium, and large) of area colleges. Grounded analysis uncovered themes related to how understandings of ethnic culture inform attitudes and experiences of forgiveness in social relations. In particular, we consider how an individual’s convoy of social relations influences within-group articulations of what it means to be Arab and shape explanations concerning strategies these college students reported using when faced with difficult or hurtful situations. Results contribute to the growing recognition that forgiveness is a complex, multidimensional phenomenon involving individual-specific traits that vary by social relations and context.