Links to other sites on the Web:
(for links to other chapters go to the end of the file)
Back to Chapter 1: Introduction
Forward to Chapter 3: Arab and Western Culture
Back to the Academic Page
Back to Fruit Home


A. Introduction

This dissertation begins by developing a model of Asil and Arab cultures used to complete the analysis. Before proceeding into developing that model, the literature review here will discuss some of the English language literature available about cultural differentiation, Arab culture, and, especially, the cultural development of the Asil (heritage) Kuwaiti culture. A second literature review in chapter ten precedes the methodology section of the formal research study.

As noted in the previous chapter, this literature review only considers literature available in English. Perhaps a third of the authors mentioned below have Arabic surnames, and their works appear in English. In some cases, this means that the author, bilingually competent, simply published in both languages or even exclusively in English. Shafeeq Ghabra, for example, appears frequently in the English language newspapers.

In other cases, the Arab-authored works underwent translation or editing. For example, this researcher personally knows one researcher whose English skills would require his obtaining substantial editorial assistance prior to publication. Ideally, one hopes that the best Arab works underwent translation, just as one hopes that the best English-language works receive publication.

In many fields, like management and family theory, some published authors themselves claim that the Arabic-language literature may not enjoy the same level of development as in the West (Al-Thakeb, 1985; Ali, 1989b). Even if they accurately portray the situation, however, their assertions do not cover all the fields explored in this dissertation.

Possibly, then, a vast literature of works in Arabic may consider all of the subjects mentioned below and simply await translation.

B. Arabic Culture and Contrast with the West

This paper begins with Geert Hofstede’s (1991) theory of international organizations as almost a benchmark. Hofstede argues, as the following chapter will explore further, that differences between cultures often exceed that between organizations, and an understanding of the cultures of different nations can lead to a greater understanding of organizations based in them. The remainder of the works here support the general way in which Hofstede characterizes Arab culture. None of them, in fact, seek to contradict his general ideas though, of course, certain writers such as Edward Said refute the idea of such a thing as "Arab culture."

In this respect, this analysis relies heavily on the study of Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind (1973). Actually, Patai’s book forms part of a two-volume set that includes The Jewish Mind. Patai, a sociologist, traces the particular attributes of Arab culture back to child-rearing practices and, especially, relations between mothers and sons. Noted Arab scholar Edward Said in Orientalism (1978) heavily criticizes Patai’s work as simplistic. Note that many of the child-rearing practices Patai identifies, such as the long suckling period, no longer exist, but his descriptions of Arab culture seem relevant nonetheless. Further, Patai’s general conclusions on Arab culture match those of Hofstede, yet each came at his task from a distinctly different academic field, sociology versus business administration.

The analysis offered of the Arab family builds heavily on the work of Fahed T. Al-Thakeb (1975; 1982; 1985). Al-Thakeb teaches sociology at Kuwait University, and one can consider him as the authority on the Arab family since few others, in English translation anyway, seem to study it. Al-Thakeb critiques certain views of earlier family historians such as W. Goode (1965) who describe the Arab family in traditional and even stereotypical terms as consisting of the family patriarch, his multiple wives, and many children living together. Al-Thakeb uses data to disprove this, but his work also emphasizes that Arab family "modernization" largely consists in form, not in spirit, and a strong undercurrent of tradition flows under a surface of change. Of particular note here, Al-Thakeb studies Palestinians and Kuwaitis in Kuwait. It says something about the state of family studies in Kuwait and the Gulf that in one of his articles Al-Thakeb notes that nearly every family study article consists of a single survey and data analysis, with little attempt at theorizing.

In relation to Al-Thakeb’s assertions on traditionalism, several other authors explore one of the key points of this paper: whether Arab society fundamentally changed as a result of modernization. Al-Thakeb finds some change from the older view of the traditional Arab society, but considers the family still very traditional. Tawfik Farah (1992), also considered in the section below, and Faisal Al-Salem (1976) agree with this based on their study of the Lebanese and Kuwaitis.

The single-study articles, and their weaker complement, papers presented at conferences for teachers of Arab students, form a large part of the remainder of the literature. A surprising number of these studies concern Kuwait University students. Uwe Gielen (1992) gave Sudanese and Kuwaiti students Kohlberg’s moral reasoning test. Soliman (1989) initially set out to find if gender constituted a significant division in the thinking of Kuwaiti College students and ended up finding that the test showed greater cultural differentiation between the Kuwaitis and Westerners than between genders. Soliman and Torrance (1986) differentiate between the learning styles of Kuwait and the United States, based, once more, on one survey. All of these studies suffer, to some degree, on their choice of Kuwait University subjects. While prior to the Gulf War, Kuwaiti University included large bodies of Palestinians and Kuwaitis, with Kuwaitis predominating thereafter, the school always included more women than men due to parents’ hesitancy to send daughters abroad for schooling. The same sort of parents who hesitate to send their daughters abroad form a more socially conservative group than those who do, hence tending towards a consistent, conservative bias in the results.

The papers form the remainder. Qayum Safi (1996) presented a paper on students’ evaluation of instructors at Kuwait University. Clifton Campbell (1983) presented a paper on international communication with special emphasis on Saudi students. James Cowan (1987) presented a similar seminar. In each case, then, one can consider their conclusions as those largely based on the authors' observations of students from these countries.

A potentially more interesting form of literature, and directly relevant to this study, concerns the fate of Arab students in Western universities. The idea of reaction to cultural clash relies on the article of Michael Blanc and Josiane Hamers (1973), "Cultural Identity and Bilinguality." Alaf Melies (1982), an Arab author, studies some of the difficulties of students adjusting to Western universities. Phoebe Marr (1987) also presented a paper on this subject. Some of this literature will receive further discussion in chapter ten.

None of the articles mentioned generally conflicts with the view of Arab society offered in chapter three, though an author such as Edward Said would consider the effort to characterize an entire people as doomed to failure, and many of the characteristics applied to "Arabs" in the model would not fit Said himself.

C. Kuwait History and Economic Development

To a considerable degree Kuwait does not exist in the literature prior to the discovery of oil. During the oil era, the literature remains largely concentrated on either politics or wealth. Some of the works listed below also belong in the section on Kuwaiti culture and on Arab culture.

The earliest books seem more concerned with simply describing than analyzing Kuwait and its development. They provide some of the evidence given of the opinions of elders who lived in pre-oil Kuwait, many of whom could not read or write. Among these Freeth and Winstone’s work (quoted in Sapsted, 1980) describes Kuwait in the pre-oil era. Sapsted’s Modern Kuwait (1980) offers a basic textbook picture of Kuwait immediately after its oil development. J.E. Frazier’s (1967) article for National Geographic offers some interesting interviews with individuals. Finally Kaddouri, again an Arab author, contrasts Iraq and Kuwait (1967) and attributes Iraq’s lack of development to its socialist, Baathist ideology and Kuwait’s success to free enterprise. This article has more historical than analytical interest since its publication occurred at the height of pseudo-socialist Arab nationalism when many, even in Kuwait, considered socialism a viable alternative to Kuwait's rentier state.

Relatively few articles describe the "rentier state" per se. Jacqueline Ismael (1982) describes the model in Kuwait: Social Change in Historical Perspective (1982) and finds it more compelling than the competing model of underdevelopment. Both these theories receive more attention in chapter three. Aarto et al. (1992) briefly explains the relationship between power and government, explored later, caused by the rentier state. Hazem Beblami and Giacomo Luciana (1987) offer a volume of essays on the rentier state but not specifically addressed to Kuwait. Strangely, The Economist, while contributing the most articles of any periodical concerning Kuwait, does not offer any economic analysis of Kuwait.

Next, one can characterize a group of works as "assertive" history in that they do more than simply supply details, but also link them to theory about Kuwait’s development. Some of these theories receive more consideration in chapter four. Though these works originate from Arab and Western sources, one cannot differentiate the historical theories on that basis.

An-Naquib’s book (1988), State and Society in the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, perhaps forms the most interesting book in this group since the Kuwaiti government not only banned the book but arrested the author. An-Naquib, yet another Kuwait University professor, writes from a basically Arab Nationalist point of view in that he considers all Arabs as one nation artificially divided first by foreign rule and then by foreign interference. Dependency theory fits his paradigm well in that it considers rulers as basically pawns of colluding foreign powers on whom they depend for economic and social survival. An-Naquib’s conclusions regarding Kuwait have some problems, as explained later, but his arrest likely came more from the atmosphere of social tensions, such as the attempt on the life of the Emir, than from work, though his work effectively depicts the Emir as a foreign pawn.

Ansari (1985) puts forward an idea generally criticized elsewhere in this work that the oil wealth signaled more than a change in Kuwait's external conditions. This view also finds implicit form in other works such as Sapstone’s (1980) which simply proceed as though little remains of the past in historical Kuwait. Abu-Hakima’s (1972) work on the "Development of the Gulf" falls more into the category of descriptive, and the works of American writers such as Crystal and Tetreault categorize the changes, whereas Abu-Hakima simply depicts the details.

What one might consider the general view of Kuwait society and the "main line" of English-language Kuwait historical scholarship stems from the work of three American women authors. Jacqueline Ismael develops the view, generally advocated in this work, that Kuwait’s society developed organically despite the wealth of oil. Ismael even traces traditional class distinctions back to divisions between camel-herding and sheep-herding Bedouin. Her main work, Kuwait: Social Change in Historical Perspective (1982), provides a wealth of details and serves as a point of departure, and sometimes argument, for the latter two historians.

The second of these three scholars, Jill Crystal, a political scientist at Auburn University, while using a wealth of historical detail, naturally concentrates on political development. Hence "Coalitions in Oil Monarchies: Kuwait and Qatar" (1989) dwells on how individuals within these societies obtained and retained political influence; the contrast between the two countries, amplified in chapter four, provides interesting thought. Her longer, main work, Kuwait the Transformation of an Oil State (1992), in spite of the title, probably overstates the amount of discontinuity she finds in Kuwait society. This work effectively lengthens the earlier, Kuwait, section of "Coalitions." Finally, her article "Civil Society in the Arabian Gulf" (1996) attempts to link the Asil Kuwaitis, especially, to the concept of civil society (Norton, 1996), a view this study finds somewhat questionable as explored in the fifth chapter.

The third main historical writer, Mary Ann Tetreault, another American university professor, writes in largely a similar and usually complementary vein to Crystal. Tetreault’s most important article, "Autonomy, Necessity, and the Small State" (1991), links the survival of the ruling Al-Sabah family to its ability to manipulate forces both outside and inside Kuwait. It depicts the Al-Sabah, for which Crystal’s work provides ample examples also, as politically savvy and willing to use varying means to survive in their somewhat precarious military and social position. Notably, her article came in the wake of the most conspicuous failure of that Al-Sabah policy, the Gulf War. Along with Crystal, Tetreault tries to link Kuwait to the civil society concept. Her last three articles (1993; 1995; 2000), however, all return to a theme that particularly animates American popular writers about Kuwait: women’s rights.

One can generally include John Bulluch’s The Persian Gulf Unveiled (1982) as something between a popular study and a scholarly work, roughly equivalent to Robert Lacey’s The Kingdom (1982) on Saudi Arabia. However, only one section of the book concerns Kuwait directly. Peter Mansfield’s older book, The Arabs (1978), performs a similar function with, again, a single chapter on the Gulf.

Another, albeit weaker, category of historical writing, popular periodicals, deals with political issues of the day. Whenever possible, this analysis only uses these sources for relevant statements from reliable sources or for statistical information. One can basically consider all of the articles in the Economist (314; 319; 325; 352; 353a; 353b; 353c) in this light. The periodical authors heavily concentrate on a few topics of particular interest to British and other Westerners, though not necessarily to Kuwaitis, including the relative lack of democracy in Kuwait (Duncan, 1986; Jenkins, 1991), women’s rights, and, of course the war and its aftermath (Hiro, 1990; Kelley, 1991; Smolowe, 1990).

During the Iran-Iraq War, some articles appeared concerned with political Islam (Wright, 1988). While these authors prove an Iranian connection to some terrorism in Kuwait, this remains relatively tangential to this study. Farah (1982) and Ghabra (1997) do a more adequate job of tracing the Kuwaiti "Islamic revival," not to foreign instigation, but to Islamic continuation (Farah) and desertization (Ghabra).

Finally, some general works provide a mixture of simple information with often-first rate analysis. The Persian Gulf States (Metz, 1994), a part of the old CIA series, often merits the term "first-rate." Originally written for diplomats and military personnel bound for the countries in question, the books of the series offer a succinct and pointed summary of pertinent information from unsigned contributors, i.e., possibly CIA personnel, but often many of the authors previously mentioned. Currently, the CIA continues the series at its website,

D. Kuwait Culture, the Asil, and the Palestinians

Some of the works described in the previous section, of course, provide further information regarding culture as well, whether Bedouin, Asil, or foreign. Hence, the works of Crystal, Tetreault, and Ismael discuss the Asil to varying degrees. Reading their work in conjunction with those of Shafeeq Ghabra and Tawfik Farah provides a fuller view of Kuwait than that provided by reading writers concerned solely with either historical development or sociology.

Since this dissertation asserts a Bedouin origin for much of Asil culture, it makes some sense to refer to some basic works on the Bedouin. Philip Hitti’s classic description of the Bedouin (1992) deserves mention. A reading of a Bedouin author S.N. Khalef (1990) on the "Settlement of Violence in Bedouin Society" (1990) reveals a striking number of similar beliefs, if different outward manifestations, between the modern Asil and their Bedouin cousins. In this respect, again, Lacey’s book on the Saud family and the emergence of modern Saudi Arabia, The Kingdom (1982), merits mention again if for no other reason than to differentiate modern Saudi Arabia from modern Kuwait.

The Asil, of course, occur as important actors in the events in the works of Crystal, Ismael, and Tetreault, particularly in their dealings with the Al-Sabah. However, the English language literature does not provide an entire journal article, let alone a book, solely on the merchant class. Assiri and Al-Maounfi’s "Political Elite: the Cabinet" (1988) serves mainly as a source of description of the participants in terms of family name, education, companies owned, etc.. In this instance, Crystal (1989), with her concern for power accumulation, remains a main source along with Kamil Salih (1991). Salih’s article on the Parliament of 1938 (1992) concentrates on one event and, in so doing, illustrates many important aspects of Asil culture, some of which he himself does not explore in sufficient depth.

Concerning the Manakh Al Suk and the rise of the new classes, again, no article concentrates solely on these topics, with the usual caveat that many Arabic articles may do so. Hence, sections come from different works. In this context, the work of Fred Lawson for MERIP reports (1985) merits special mention since he visited Kuwait both immediately before and after the event and can provide something resembling an eye-witness account to the Manakh’s rise and fall.

The same street-level quality dominates Linda Blandford’s best-selling Oil Sheikhs (1976). Note that not only do Arabs hate her book, but they hate it for very particular reasons. Blandford essentially gathers up gossip and opinions to shape into her generally negative comments about Arab society. Thus Arabs regard her book as saying things that they themselves would never say in public but might say in a diwaniyyah, a men’s meeting place, or a market. Therefore, one cannot regard her conclusions as "wrong," so much as that they give the worst slant that Arabs in the countries visited, including Kuwait, might put on their own society. The usefulness of using Blandford’s quotations comes largely in instances of desiring to have such decidedly unofficial accounts. Unlike some of the more scholarly sources, one hears in Blandford the gossip of the day and, since she traveled at the height of oil opulence, a particularly interesting day.

In decided contrast, Shafeeq Ghabra, a Kuwaiti University professor, concerns himself with hard analysis of contemporary Kuwait’s society. Ghabra’s article, "Palestinians in Kuwait: The Family and Politics (1988)," effectively complements that of Al-Thakeb in that it explains the connection between the close family structure Al-Thakeb found (1985) and the problems faced by Palestinians surviving in an often hostile political/social environment. This functions as the basic article examining the Palestinian situation. Ghabra’s later two articles (1997; 1997 II) deal with the changing social climate of Kuwait through "desertization" and Islamization, both of which Ghabra sees as dangerous and negative. Ghabra’s articles continue to appear in the editorial sections of the major, daily Kuwait Arabic and English papers and generally follow upon similar lines. One can consider Ghabra, then, not only a scholar but a noted social critic of particular views who favors a modern, less conservative Kuwait.

Ghabra’s works conjoin with that of Tawfik Farah, the last Arab writer of note available in English. Farah’s "Two Myths Examined" (1982) attacks the two ideas that (a) Islam revived in Kuwait and (b) that Islam in Kuwait remained in need of revival in the first place. He generally supports the view, expounded in chapter four and five, that Kuwaitis in particular and Arabs in general, modernized on the surface level and remain traditional people. In this respect, he differs from Ghabra who sees the modernization as relatively more important and fundamental to certain groups such as the Asil Kuwaitis.

Only a few articles, besides Ghabra’s, take up the Palestinian question, which remained difficult to research both before and after the Gulf War. Szula (1992) writes for National Geographic, a source more useful for quotations, and in this instance his quotations mainly come from those who fled Kuwait after the Gulf War. Migdal’s (1980) book on Palestinian Society and Politics only considers the Diaspora briefly and education as it affects political development. In this instance Rouleau’s article on the Palestinians (1985), while basically descriptive, offers a lot of "street level" comments at a particularly opportune time, that of the late 1980s.

Finally, one must include by far the most widely read of any of these sources, Paul Kennedy’s Kuwait Pocket Guide (1998). One of the few books actually published in Kuwait, Kennedy’s book sits in every apartment and sells at every newsstand. Kennedy takes his information from a wide variety of sources, including official documents. Every foreigner in Kuwait who can read English (probably 40% of the population) reads it.

E. The Role and Interaction of Foreigners

Since the subject of Kuwaiti foreign interaction remains at the heart of this study, it stands out that little of the English-language literature really considers this question, particularly since half of Kuwait’s population consists of non-Kuwaitis. As explored in chapter four, Kuwaitis themselves remain entranced with the question of the Kuwaiti-foreign marriage. However, the actual literature on foreigner-Kuwaiti interaction consists of three different kinds of literature, and the categorization of these articles perhaps makes a greater statement than the articles themselves. These three categories include: the laborers, the maids, and Anh Longva.

One striking thing about consideration of the workers concerns the objectivity of the literature. Foreigners appear as either a subject for study or as a "problem" for solution, generally in labor journals, not really as human beings. Hence Al-Qudsi’s article (1989) on laborers concerns what sectors get paid what amounts. Al-Ramadhan and Russell’s work (1995) notes the different composition of the foreigners working in Kuwait. Only Maghoub’s "Migration and Structural Change in Kuwait Society" (1973) even takes up the question of the impact of the other 50% on Kuwait, and it only fills three pages.

In decided contrast, a number of articles take up the question of the lowest portion of the female labor pyramid, the maids. Perhaps appropriately, the study by Abdulmalek, Al-Aamrite, El Hilu, Kamel, Mousa, and Zohdi (1990) deals with maids in a clinical setting since many maids seem to suffer from mental problems. American popular periodicals, including The New Yorker (Bonner, 1992) and People (Hewitt, 1992), continue to take up the subject of maid mistreatment and offer anecdotes and examples. Indeed, one can generalize somewhat that the two subjects most of immediate interest to American writers about Kuwait concern the status of women and, of course, the weakest women of all, the maids. To writers such as Shafeeq Ghabra these "women’s issues," in decided contrast, appear only in the more general context of "desertization" and the growth of political Islam. None of these articles even by American authors, concern the problems of male migrant workers, the largest group in society, who seem as neglected in print as they do in life.

This leads to the work of Anh Longva, the only author to really consider the situation of "the other" 50% in any depth. Longva also considers the plight of women (1995), including Kuwaiti women, but within the framework set forth in Walls Built on Sand (1997). Walls Built on Sand, an important work, concerns the situation of all foreigners and its effect on everyone in society, considered further in chapter five. Briefly, Longva thinks that the Kuwaitis’ sense of self-worth and identity rests on the Kuwaitis’ dominance over foreign labor, male and female, with negative consequences to foreigners and Kuwaitis. Unlike Tetreault or Crystal, and at a higher plane than Blandford, Longva builds her position on her actual experiences.

Longva lived in Kuwait as a dependent wife of a Swedish diplomat. She adopts a qualitative research methodology as an observer-participant. She herself admits the limitations of her position as (a) a woman and (b) a dependent. Longva’s book holds particular significance to this study since it constitutes the only serious work on the actual, daily social interactions of Kuwaiti society and because, like Blandford’s, it offers some street-level views of Kuwait. An important weakness of Longva’s book, besides some of the problems with her main theme, stems from her own statements that she found it very hard to sympathize with the Kuwaiti position and harder to mingle with the Kuwaitis due to her position and status. No studies refute Longva because hers remains a unique book, with the caveat that studies in Arabic may concern this subject also.

F. Arabic Management Practices, the Sheikocracy, and the Sheikly Bureau

Abbas Ali remains not only the best Arab management scholar but basically the only one, at least in English translation. Ali’s article (1995) "Cultural Discontinuity and Arab Management Thought," title notwithstanding, basically traces what he considers Arab management continuity. The management thought, in contrast, he finds distinctly wanting and discontinuous, a parallel, again to Al-Thakeb’s comments about Arab family study. He dismisses a lot of other Arab management work as "translations" or "sycophantic" (1995), such as the management school that simply tries to compliment the ruler. The continuity in Arab management practices he terms "personalism," which closely resembles the sheikocracy model developed in chapter four and elsewhere.

No articles exist to describe the "sheikly bureau" or "wastah," which most writers simply describe as "corruption;" hence this work uses essentially original theory or what one can consider a broader adaptation of Ali’s theory.

Ali’s work in management aligns with that of Hofstede. Here, the fact that Ali (1987) does the majority of his studies using Kuwaiti companies makes his work particularly relevant to this study. The fact that the managers of companies come from many different countries, again, pertains to the Kuwait situation. In this context, the work of Ali (1997) and Abu-Saad (1998) tends to reinforce the earlier concepts of Hofstede on individualism and of Patai. The only relevant scholarship that can refute or question Ali seems to come from Arab nationalists such as An-Niquib (1988), whose management theory either does not rate analysis in Ali’s long paper on this subject or does not form much more than a vaguely socialist political belief system, not a fully developed management theory.

For the contrasting Western organizational theory, this work draws mainly upon the work of Max Weber (1958). Weber describes the modern bureaucracy, with specific attributes listed and dealt with in later chapters. Numerous writers, such as Simon in Administrative Behavior (1932), show that Weber’s organizational structure remains more of an ideal than a practical description of any functioning governmental bureau or firm. In this context Etzioni (1977) describes modern government bureaucrats as medieval kings dealing with power, not as rational functionaries. Lindblom’s "Muddling Through" (1959) offers a more accurate description of decision-making, certainly in school bureaucracies, a subject explored in several of this author’s own works (Fruit, 1996). The importance of Weber, then, lies in its description of the "ideal type" bureaucracy, i.e., an aspiration of Westerners, not in describing reality. To some degree, of course, the same holds true of the sheikocracy.

G. Kuwait and Arab Education

As indicated in chapter seven, very little exists in English concerning the Kuwaiti public or private school system other than of a very descriptive nature. This makes the work of N.N. Kharma particularly important. Kharma worked with the public schools particularly in terms of English education. The course of her articles (1972; 1977; 1977II; 1982) spans the early era of Al-Dharra Madressor. The British Council’s article functions as an initial description (1983) and Safwat’s (1993) describes the public system about ten years later. The equivalent Ministry regulations implemented at Al-Dharra (1983) show little variation in general approach or methodology from Kharma’s time. H. Sarsour’s work (1976) predates and complements Kharma’s.

The few articles that concern Palestinian education particularly concern the circumstances of either (a) fighting the Israelis or (b) fleeing the Israelis. Hence, this study relies upon Khatib and Yair’s general description (1995) from the West Bank. This matches the oral descriptions provided by other Palestinian teachers and generally verified by direct observation of Palestinian classrooms. Abu-Saad and Hendrix’s study (1998) study of Jewish and Palestinian children somewhat refutes the assumptions of this analysis in that it finds a more telling differentiation between rural and urban than between Jewish and Arab. However, as explained later, this may have less relevance as this dissertation largely concerns itself with Palestinian educators of a previous generation. Molly Farquharson’s work (1988; 1989) falls into the category of published presentations, not published articles, and her own observations form the basis for her conclusions.

Concerning the subject of international schools a dearth of information exists. This makes books such as Gilbert Brown’s Handbook (1996) and Forrest Broman’s Case Studies (1996) particularly welcome. The Handbook (1996), while offering some description of a private school, also contains prescriptions as to how to run such a school. Broman’s Case Studies fictionalizes actual international school problem situations. Again, it offers some information regarding international schools in general.

The Internet and, especially, the ECIS web pages provide a wealth of facts about many of the private schools in Kuwait. In addition, some of the non-ECIS schools have their own home pages. Not all schools, however, provide the same information, and, in some cases, this author needed to draw conclusions based on hearsay and external observations.

H. Some General Comments Regarding the Literature

The model of Arab society offered in chapter three and its application to Kuwait draws on a relatively small number of works. In the case of the general model, this results partly from selectivity. For other areas, though, such as Arab management theory, relatively few English-language works exist.

The literature directly focused on Asil Kuwait and on its education system also suffers from a dearth. For example, no one can really give a counter to Longva’s view of immigrants’ lives because no ever did similar research, which, again, makes a powerful statement as to the interest accorded the "other 50%" in Kuwait. In many cases, this analysis must rely on using all of the available sources essentially to check on one another, drawing social information from historical texts and economic information from sociological texts.

Once again, though, recall that a vast literature of potentially contradictory literature may exist in Arabic.

Having introduced the sources, this work can now develop a model of Arab society.


Onward to Chapter 3: Arab Culture and the West
Back to Chapter 1: the Introduction

Back to the Academic Page
Back to Fruit Home