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ERIC Number: ED157851
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Mar-25
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Cultures in Conflict: Arab Students in American Universities.
Helms, Anne
Cultural differences between Arabs and Americans may cause misunderstandings when Arab students come to study in American universities. As part of the author's plan to write a guidebook for Arab students who are new to American university life, this paper presents preliminary analysis of differences in the two cultures. The author hopes her research will eliminate miscommunication and conflict by clarifying the differences in how the two cultures handle conflict, make apologies, and express anger and sympathy. Eight elements of cultural differences are explored: greetings and farewells; hospitality and food customs; speech styles; proxemics and gestures; male/female relationships; concepts of honor, shame, and morality; educational customs; and values of time, work, space, competition, and friendship. Restrictions on the behavior of women in Arab society are great; thus, Arab male students in America enjoy the sexual freedom of American women but do not want their own sisters or wives to adopt American manners. Most Americans do not know that, traditionally, Arabs must refuse food three times before accepting it. Also, Arab greetings tend to be very drawn out. An American's manner of speaking directly to the point can seem rude. Differences in inflection and voice emphasis convey different meanings in the two cultures. (AV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Anthropological Association (San Francisco, California, March 23-25, 1978)