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A. Introduction: Two Cultures, One School

One reason for the potential importance of this study lies in the arguably ideal conditions for studying biculturality mentioned in the previous chapter and this study’s concern with subjects relatively absent from the literature. Though some international schools attempt to create biculturality, almost nothing exists on the international schools in the literature. Further, most international schools tend towards domination by the culture whose curriculum drives the school, British or American (Broman 1996), with which the host culture sometimes remains in, at best, an uneasy co-existence. This certainly describes schools in Kuwait such as KBS (Kuwait British School) and KAS (Kuwait American School); the literature provides no evidence of study of the dynamics of this situation in Kuwait.

Thus, as the following sections will show, most of the literature highlighted below shows some points of relevance to this situation and some points of differentiation. Basically one can categorize this literature as follows:

Having said this, one can turn to each these situations. However, this analysis will start with the American public schools because, in a way, the American cultural "debate" sets the terms and often the models for the remainder of the literature.

B. The American School in the Bicultural Debate

The typical American school attempts not to accommodate foreigners but to make the foreigners accommodate to the school and America. The public school exists, as John Dewey (1899) asserts, as an important institution for teaching American values, not preserving old-world values. Indeed as Handlin maintains (1952), the American schools historically operated as important conditioners of immigrants and immigrant children to the realities of American life. The general strategy of those not wishing assimilation lay in dropping out of school, not in changing the school.

In the context of this debate, one can generally consider "bilingual" and "bicultural" together. To think of this in its simplest terms, the student without any fluency in English cannot receive the instruction from the American teacher who, explicitly, through classes such as civics, US government, and US history, and implicitly, through the teacher’s "hidden agenda," teaches the American way. In this context, one can think of either maintaining a non-English language or foreign culture as a barrier on the road to assimilation. Old and new Americans both agreed on the overwhelming need to learn English, with bilingualism merely serving as a means, not a goal (Ghandra, 2002) towards that end. As Charles Foster summarizes the general pattern of thought even as late as 1991 (Foster, 1992):

Bilingual Programs are rightfully identified as compensatory or remedial in theory with the objective of "curing" the English language deficiencies of ethnic children so that they can enter or function in regular classrooms. (p. 292, emphasis added)

Foster’s assertion, however, brings to mind what has altered over time, American tolerance and acceptance towards aspects of culture other than language. During the period prior to the 1960s, the political image of the "melting pot" predominated, and hence Americans expected other ethnic groups eventually to "melt" into a prescribed, generally WASP, version of American identity. Hence, scholarly theory and measures of biculturality tended to view biculturality as an intermediate state between the immigrant culture and that of the majority, the linear theory shown in the last chapter (Cuellar, Harris, & Jasso, 1980). Indeed, the original acculturation scale, the ARSMA (I) grew out of clinical practice in which doctors viewed biculturality as a form of mental illness or, a least, a negative mental condition leading to social problems and feelings of alienation, "anomie."

During the sixties, the "salad bowl" became the more dominant political ideology, eventually becoming today’s "political correctness" whereby society tolerates and often celebrates cultural differences. Society generally accepts that an African-American or a Mexican-American can fully function both within his own subculture and the greater culture of the United States as a whole. Scholarly theory today tends to reflect this belief that one can remain "bicultural" indefinitely and that this might actually help to make one a "better American." This view very much supports the two-axes theory of cultural acquisition shown in the previous chapter.

Thus, one finds the literature connected with American public schools and biculturality heavily dominated by literature asking three different questions:

How is this group different?(identification)
How can this group acculturate?(melting pot vision)
To what degree can [does] this group enjoy success without acculturation?(salad bowl vision)

Thus, one might classify this sizable literature as either: cultural coping, cultural description, or cultural pride, roughly categorized according to the political and economic group subject to the article’s description and the researcher’s relationship to that group. The cultural coping literature seems aimed at those ethnic groups experiencing difficulties with the dominant culture either as a minority within the American schools or as a group in the greater society. Hence, this author found over fifty articles dealing with the difficulties of Amerindian groups, individually or plural.

The culturally descriptive literature seems to deal with minorities not well known to the public, usually through case studies. In these case studies usually the researcher shares an ethnic background with those studied. The vast majority of these studies deal with the situation of minorities either in majority schools (Arvizu, Guskin, & Hernandez-Chavez, 1992) or in a society in which the minority exercises relatively little power (Martinez & Saravia-Shore, 1992).

The ethnic pride literature, the vast majority of it dealing with Latinos although some also concerns African-Americans, seems designed to assert the equality of ethnic norms with WASP norms. The fact that this needs assertion speaks, again, to the contrast between the conditions of this study and the rest of the literature.

In fact, all of these situations differ from that at Al-Dharra Madressor. First, at ADM the school design attempts to make students regard both Western and Arab cultures in relatively high esteem. Even if one can cynically assume a disdain by American teachers for Arab culture and the reverse, each teaches in his/her own classroom environment, and the course of the day effectively means that students have relatively equal amounts of comments and influence from the two cultures. Finally, the entire majority versus minority dialogue does not concern ADM, at which all students come from essentially a single culture, Asil Kuwaiti.

Second, the terms and models of the literature particularly apply to the situation within America, better defined as sub-cultural than cultural. Mexican-Americans might struggle with their status and subcultural identity in the United States, but no one, least of all the Mexican-Americans, would deny their status as Americans. This contrasts with the situation at ADM in which students do not want to alter their Arab identity other than as it serves their instrumental advantage. ADM students, then, avoid the question that seems to dominate this particular form of scholarship: what is or should be a group’s primary cultural identity?

A third comment regards the measures themselves. As indicated above, the measures of biculturality and degrees thereof serve mainly to place individuals into particular categories. These categories, in fact, will help measure cultural proficiency of the ADM students in this study in chapter twelve and thirteen, but these scholars did not intend these measures to show relative degree of Americanization.

With this basic introduction, this analysis can look at the literature concerning each somewhat similar situation in more detail.

C. Roughly Similar Programs: One-School Two Cultures: Biculturality a Goal

At least two programs exist that very closely parallel this one at ADM. Neither, however, has undergone systematic analysis.

First, the Department of Defense program operates a kindergarten through second grade program with aims similar to those of ADM. Situated on the island of Okinawa, Japan, the school operates within the Department of Defense Dependent Schools (DoDDs) program. The school, like some elsewhere in Japan, hires at least some native speakers of Japanese to teach the Japanese portion of the curriculum. Teachers alternate Japanese and American in an attempt to create bilingual students. Also like Al-Dharra, parents need to choose to enroll their students, though the school costs nothing.

However, one can best describe this program as an attempt to teach some Japanese language and a bit of Japanese culture to American children. Due to the fact that military personnel generally "rotate" every 2-3 years, students do not continue beyond the third grade, and the program experiences a high rate of early exits. No analysis exists of this program, and, in comparison to that of ADM, one must regard it as far less likely to create a secondary cultural proficiency or biculturality as a result of its much shorter duration.

Another relatively well-known program in Israel puts Palestinians and Israelis side-by-side into classes and schools. The schools hire Palestinian and Israeli teachers. No comprehensive study concerns these schools. Further, the schools operate in the peculiar conditions of Israel in which Palestinians attend as a disempowered cultural minority, if not a minority of the school population, and in conditions of inequality.

Finally, a number of articles concern the lives of Department of Defense Dependent (DoDDs) school students in general, and some scholars go so far as to assert that DoDDs student themselves constitute "third-culture" kids (Hassan, 2002). It makes more sense to compare DoDDs students to one another as Fruit (1991) does in "The Small Town with the B-52s." Their situation poses a particular syndrome whereby they feel at home nowhere due to their constant movement except, perhaps, on military bases. Few DoDDs students learn a foreign language overseas, and few interact much with the local culture other than as tourists. This fundamentally contrasts their situation with that of the students at ADM who, except for the foreigners, feel perfectly at home in Kuwait and possess a strong Arab cultural identity. One can better describe these students as experiencing a particular kind of rootlessness within an American cultural context.

Those DoDDs students who merit description as third-culture kids grow up in families with a foreign parent, usually a mother, and their situation more resembles that of the very small group at ADM with American mothers, whom this study does not single out for attention. No studies exist of this particular sub-group of DoDDs children, and this study does not isolate the foreigner parent Kuwaiti group for singular analysis.

D. Bi-Cultural Elements of Other International Schools in Kuwait

Despite the existence of many international schools in Kuwait, no literature exists on the other international schools in Kuwait beyond what this study mentions in the previous chapters. Further, as indicated previously, the larger international schools in Kuwait feature populations either so mixed that one may term them "international" or with such a large non-Kuwaiti population that the Kuwaitis themselves experience some degree of "ghettoization." Hence, someone writing about Kuwaitis in those schools might more directly help others studying America’s ethnic problems since again one finds conditions of cultural inequality. Such writing would have less applicability to the situation in this study.

E. Studies of Westernization in the Kuwait Public Schools

In this context, it makes sense to refer to both Kuwait University and the Kuwait public schools together since, in many ways, KU functions as just four more years of Kuwait public schooling. In either case, the literature remains less than helpful. The many articles of N.N. Kharma (1972; 1977; 1981) form the most useful studies. Kharma, as shown in the previous chapters of this work, describes public school English instruction as sporadic and not very effective (1977). For public students English remains simply another school subject not worthy of much study unless a student intends to go to a US university (Kharma, 1977). The public school system, further, continues to hire non-native speakers of English (Kharma, 1997; Kennedy, 1998), so the instructors themselves cannot introduce much of a cultural element. Most public school students learn very little spoken English prior to graduation and, hence, cannot interact with the many English-speaking foreigners present in Kuwait to any great degree. Indeed, as An Longva (1997) and Jill Crystal (1995) both accurately point out, the public schools remain important agents of Kuwaiti acculturation, not American or dual acculturation.

If anything, the public schools continue to develop into institutions increasingly less receptive to Western ideas and culture (Ghabra, 1997; 1997 II). Partly, this stems from the increasing numbers of generally more conservative Bedouin (Ghabra, 1997; Longva, 1997). In terms of classroom atmosphere, again, the fine description of a traditional Palestinian classroom offered on the West Bank (Khatab & Yair, 1995) probably serves to provide an accurate picture of schools of traditional, teacher-centered classroom charged with teaching an increasingly conservative set of materials.

Kuwait University, in contrast, offers several features that invite a comparison with Al-Dharra Madressor. First, students "choose" Kuwait University, though, of course, a weak or disadvantaged student may resort to Kuwait University out of economic necessity. Further, the University’s classes split about evenly between language of instruction in English and Arabic (British Council, 1983), with the English-teaching departments hiring native speakers of English from abroad though typically for reasons of subject expertise, not for cultural reasons.

In contrast to the public schools, a fair number of articles consider Kuwait University students. These articles all follow a similar pattern. Using surveys, the researcher tries to determine the extent of one particular cultural quality in the students. Thus Gielen (Gielen & Others, 1992) tries to test KU students’ moral reasoning, Soliman (1989) determines whether gender differences account for differences in thinking patterns, and Soliman and Torrance (1986) determine the learning styles of students. To this, one can add Al-Thakeb’s articles on the Arab family (1982) and Kharma’s various articles concerning attempts to improve the English skills of KU students (1972; 1981). A general impression emerges that, in fact, KU students remain very unassimilated to American culture and very traditional. Thus their moral reasoning category aligns them with the Sudanese, they shy away from new thoughts, and they obey their parents. They resist learning English other than when it holds an instrumental value (Kharma, 1977). To this, further, one must add the increasing pressure of a social agenda seemingly designed to keep students off the road to modernism (Ghabra, 1997).

However, all of the KU studies suffer from several flaws. First, none of them exactly "puts together" the entire package of Americanization and attempts to study it, though Thakeb’s comes close (1982). Second, Kuwait University students suffer from a double-selection process that tends towards conservatism, i.e., against Americanization. First, parents who choose Kuwait University more often come from the government schools where their students endure the pressure of increasing conservatism and more likely come from the Bedouin. Moreover, only the most liberal parents choose to send their daughters abroad, leaving Kuwait University with a population well over 50% female, and those females likely come from the more conservative segments of society. Finally, Western cultural proficiency simply holds less value to the Bedouin and lower classes since the lower classes and those in government overwhelmingly speak Arabic and interact more with Arabs. One can classify the atmosphere of the government office, as opposed to a family-owned firm, as distinctly Arab, if not Kuwaiti, not multicultural or bicultural.

Still, the literature concerning these Kuwait public schools does indicate some important facts. First, Kuwaitis and others Arabs show a persistent loyalty and adherence to their own culture when confronted by other cultures, a marked contrast with the case of Hispanics considered in so much bicultural literature. Second, in most cases Arab students do not actively "seek" greater American cultural proficiency unless, as in the case of the Asil, it holds instrumental value. This may indicate the real distance that lies between American and Asil culture or the high esteem in which Arabs hold their own culture.

F. Arab Students in American Public Schools and Other Locations

Perhaps ironically, many of the most relevant dissertations on this topic stem from the nation and even the state, Michigan, of this researcher’s birth. Detroit possesses a vibrant Arabic community. This community, while united in its Arab origins, divides along the lines of both land of origin (Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis) and religion (Christian and Moslem). Also, though one might term some areas of Detroit with up to 50% Arab population as culturally inviting to Arab immigrants, Arab students still, to some degree, must attend school under conditions of an enforced cultural accommodation if not an enforced assimilation. So this literature also suffers from some limitations since students do not freely choose to acquire greater American cultural proficiency, and the students fall somewhat under conditions of cultural dominance by WASPs.

A rather interesting study of Yousef and Simpkins (1985) attempts to find out the parents’ attitude towards Americanization and bilingual education in a heavily Arab Detroit neighborhood. Perhaps not surprisingly, the study finds parents quite suspicious about American values and extremely proud of and clinging to their Arab heritage. In other words, in many ways the parents form a parallel group to the parents at Al-Dharra, since they "buy into" the American school through their immigration yet try to maintain their Arab identity. Indeed, the study shows some of their doubts about cultural assimilation (Yousef & Simpkins, 1985):

One can trace, again, some of the qualities previously ascribed to Arabs, including the desire for a personal relationship ("Teachers should make home visits") and some hesitation with coeducation ("Genders get better educated if separated"). Perhaps more strangely, one notes the almost total lack of an urge to assimilate as fully 90% want others to consider their children as Arabs, and 91% want their children to feel the same way. This study came at a time of some serious prejudice towards Arabs both in the USA and even in the Detroit area, so this speaks again to the strength of their Arab cultural identity.

At the same time, however, note some urges towards obtaining at least Western cultural proficiency. While 95% of respondents want their children to have Arabic instruction, another 98% want bilingual education. In fact, one can consider the parent group not particularly dissimilar in intentions from that of ADM. Unfortunately, the study focuses on the parents and not the children themselves. Hence, one can consider Al-Dharra Madressor as the kind of school in which these Dearborn parents might wish to enroll their children.

Some other dissertations also cover the subject of Arab assimilation. George (1994) finds Palestinian Americans resistant to assimilation in his study of a Palestinian community. Using the interview technique, Kazaleh (1986) finds that, in support of one of the concepts of this thesis, Arab-American students in the Ramallah-American sub-community learn a variety of techniques that allow them to adjust to American experiences. Shulabi (2001), using an "Arab Culture Inventory Scale," again working in the Detroit area, notes a positive correlation between high IOWA Basic scores and students’ identification with their Arabic culture and heritage.

Also, one must mention Fruit’s (1998) article "Just Say ‘No’ To Table Dancing: Behavioral Definition at a Self-Defined School." One can consider this as a partial study for this dissertation since it explores the cultural-political causes for misbehavior in a bilingual Arab school.

Finally, one comes to Abu-Saad and Hendrix’s (1998) study of Arab and Jewish rural and urban schools in Israel, which seems to contradict some of the statements made previously. The authors find that Arab and Israeli urban and rural schools differ more on their traditionalism versus modernism dichotomy according to location rather than national group. Hence Jewish and Arab rural schools veer towards the teacher-centered, passive-student model, and urban schools vary towards the pupil-centered, interactive model. However, in neither study do the authors more than observe classrooms, differentiating them from this study, which uses more diverse methods of study.

In general, then, the methods and conclusions drawn from the literature about Arab students in American public schools follow along similar lines to that of this study. The literature indicates a very strong identification with Arab culture, and it also defines Arab culture in a manner remarkably consistent with that developed in the first part of this thesis. However, one common problem affects many of these studies: the use of only one method, whether surveys, interviews, or ethnographic studies.

G. Arab Students at American Universities

Several studies concern the adjustment of Arab students in American universities. These one might categorize into "how-to" instructions and formal dissertations. In the former group, the presenter gives an introduction to the problems faced by Arab university students followed by suggestions for bettering their performance. These include that of Farquharson (1988; 1989), Marr (1987), and Melies (1982), and of these, only Melies’s found periodical publication. Each presents a list of attributes not really based upon a model or research but presumably from personal experience.

As in the literature in the previous section, all of the papers suffer a common weakness in that they view the students’ origins as something of a "problem" for solution, i.e., through temporary accommodation; thus students would predictably strive towards a low level of American cultural affiliation. Also, some of them, such as Farquharson’s (1988; 1989), deal specifically with students very weak in English. Thus Farquharson deals with students at two removes from those of Al-Dharra due to their presumably weaker exposure to American culture before the university and due to the students’ minority status in a larger university program. Still, her general descriptions of Arab students’ culture do not significantly differ from those offered previously in this work.

At another level, several, primarily Arab, scholars attempt more formal studies of this question of temporary acculturation. In his dissertation on Arabs from the Emirates, a region somewhat similar to Kuwait, Al-Sawad (1991), using questionnaires, found that students maintain their traditional values throughout their college stay, and older students, despite their presumably greater exposure to America, adhere more closely to those values. Indeed, most students report that when they return to the Emirates, they will behave in a traditional manner. Similarly Abu-Hilal (1986) found that Gulf Arabs, while gradually becoming more acculturated to the values of California, do not convert to California values. His work also emphasizes the cultural disparity between the Gulf States and the USA. Hence, these studies deal with the temporary cultural accommodation of the students only, but Abu-Hilal’s does suggest that students at ADM can retain their Kuwaiti identity while obtaining American cultural proficiency.

In general, then, while showing once more the relative resilience of Arab cultural values, the university literature also suffers from limitations. The university students, of course, come to the university for a variety of reasons, of which acculturation forms, at most, one of many. Indeed, the resistance to American acculturation offered by some students may argue not that they cannot become culturally proficient but that it holds only low value to them. Beyond that, none of these studies concern Kuwaitis and, particularly, Kuwaitis in the comfort of their own homeland. Most of the studies also use only a single tool of analysis, whether surveys, ethnographic observations, etc.

This leads us into some discussion of the tools themselves.

H. Measures of Biculturality

One can consider the construction of an instrument measuring biculturality only in the context of the history of the concept. Since sociologists initially considered acculturation within the context of "assimilation," the earlier instruments essentially measured before and after. As the politics of the melting pot gave way to that of the salad bowl, measurement changed in distinctly different directions. Some measures aimed to determine differentiation for its own sake.

The Multicultural Center for Research and Practice (, 2002) lists over 40 different acculturation and ethnic identity measures. Significantly, almost half of these deal with the issue of Mexican assimilation. Many of the others deal with variations on the scales developed for the Mexican community. The ARSMA (I), an "Acculturating Rating Scale for Mexican Americans" (Cuellar, Harris, & Jasso, 1980), functions as a point of departure for this group. In linear fashion, it divides Mexicans between the following categories: Very Mexican, Mexican-Oriented, Bicultural, True Bicultural, Anglo-Oriented Bicultural, and Very Anglicized. It ranks Mexican as a "1" and "Anglo" as a "5," a clear indication of the intended direction of change. The Likert-type questions force students to choose between Mexican and American choices. For example (Cuellar, Harris, & Jasso 1980):

2. What language do you prefer?
1. Spanish only
2. Some English,
3. Spanish and English about equally
4. Mostly English, some Spanish
5. English (p. 216)

In response to criticism and an ongoing dialogue with others scholars, the new revised ARSMA II (1995) makes it possible to choose both languages and, indeed, both cultures at once. Hence, the previous item reappears as (Arnold, Cuellar, & Maldonado, 1995):

1. I speak Spanish
1. never
2. sometimes
3. moderately
4. much or very often
5. always

2. I speak English
1. never
2. sometimes
3. moderately
4. much or very often
5. always (pp. 95-96)

This makes it possible for an individual to fit in four categories, i.e., dominant towards either culture, a stranger in both, or bicultural. The ARSMA II, like the original, offers itself also as a means of measuring acculturation, and the scoring suggests some expected surrender to the dominant, Anglo culture. Thus one does not have to score as high on the MOS (Mexican Orientation Scale) to achieve recognition as a bicultural as on the AOS (Anglo Orientation Scale). This means a person more identifying with Anglo culture, the expected direction of acculturation, rates as a bicultural, but not someone scoring higher in MOS than AOS.

For both the ARSMA I and II, the authors confirm the validity of the scale by its ability to accurately classify persons according to their generation of immigration. Thus, a fourth generation person who retains his Mexican cultural orientation and Spanish language would undermine the reliability of the test since it assumes that each generation of Mexicans will become more American. The ARSMA offers a number of marginal categories for individuals on the edge between one cultural category and another.

Gambo and Marin’s (1996) "New Measurement of Acculturation" uses the unique expedient of simply asking the same questions twice, once regarding Mexican-American and the second time regarding Anglo-American culture. It uses 4-point Likert scales, instead of the usual five for the ARSMA, so that one can consider a 2.5 (i.e. 62.5%) as indicating biculturality in each domain. Gambo and Marin ask a fairly short set of 24 questions, 12 in each group, fewer than the ARSMA II. In contrast to the ARSMA II, the NMA considers for Mexicans the cutoff at either 2.8 (48.62%) or 3.53 (60.00%) and for Anglos 2.95 (50.15%) or 3.53 (60.0%). Hence, the shorter BAS effectively identifies only those that the ARSMA would categorize as high biculturals as biculturals and discards the marginal categories completely. Again, like the ARSMA, the authors aim to measure acculturation, an on-going process.

Other acculturation indexes include Burnam, Escobar, Hough, Karno, and Telles (1987) and Dawson, Crano and Burgoon (1996). Other ethnic groups, including Cubans and Chinese (Lew, Rickard-Figeroa, Suinn, & Vigil, 1987), have essentially resorted to "translating" the ARSMA by replacing the word "Mexican" with "Chinese" or "Southeast Asian." Their tests do not vary greatly from the revised or original ARSMA.

Critics point out a number of weaknesses inherent in all of these measures. First, one can confuse the surface layer of ethnic self-identification with the deeper psychological construct of ethnic identity. Hence, a white American might identify with black culture while not functioning in it or even producing similar responses on an instrument designed to measure black culture. Sayegh and Lasry (1993) in reviewing these model, consider them all contaminated to some degree by their giving the minority culture a negative value in comparison to the host society, as implied in the differential scoring of the AOS and MOS on the ARSMA. Another common criticism pertains to the items chosen. For example, listening to one form of music or another constitutes one recurring item and one might argue how deeply it shows cultural identification.

Still other surveys aim primarily at ethnic identification of a single culture (Garcia & Llega, 1979) rather than acculturation or determining biculturality. Hence, they seek to determine if an individual fits into one category, regardless of his placement into another. To apply this concept to the situation under consideration here would require writing two surveys, one to identify "Arab Asil-ness" and another for "American-ness," by identifying a definitive list of cultural attributes and scoring them. For example, the following excerpts come from the AAAS (African American Acculturation Scale, in Ladrinine, 1994):

05. When I was young, my mother or grandmother was the "real" head of the family.
18. I read or used to read Ebony or Essence magazine.
28. I eat grits once in a while.
41. There are many types of blood, such as "high," "low," "thin," and "blood."
56. I am currently a member of a Black church.
60. I used to like to watch "Soul Train." (pp. 104-106).

Needless to say, the items chosen heavily determine the score of the person taking the survey and may more test the validity of the authors’ ethnic description than the subject’s ethnic identity. For example, if one considers having a female head of household as a defining characteristic of African-American culture, then most Americans became "blacker" in the last 20 years. It probably seems obvious that with tests such as Ladrinine’s, a middle class African-American might well end up classified as something other than black, perhaps a partial reasoning behind the test.

Two specific measures deal with the particular subject of Arab and American cultural identification, and both of them function as essentially one-time instruments. Hence, Shulabi (2001), in his unpublished dissertation, creates the "Arab Culture Inventory Scale" for use with Arab-Americans in the Detroit area, again, along the lines of Ladrinine’s scale above. Alkhazrji, Gardner, Martin, and Paolillo (1997), come up with a scale measuring two dimensions of "adopt American culture" and "keep original culture," essentially a variant of the original ARSMA approach. Note, though, that Akhazrji studied the case of Muslim employees, not only Arabs, which in the Detroit area could also include Iranians.

Thus, scholars attempting to create simple measures of biculturality deal with a number of serious problems that make such instruments relatively difficult to use. First, most deal with the particular situation of minority accommodation and, hence, consider acculturation in one direction. Second, the literature deals almost exclusively with the immigrant, Mexican situation or variants of this, not anything remotely like the situation envisioned here of a group attempting to simultaneously maintain (or acquire) Arab values and American (Western) values. Further, the choice of such items says almost as much about the person making the selection, as in the Ladrinine example above, as it does about the person taking the test. Further, one must offset the ease of including items such as those about listening to music, which one test ostentatiously terms "the multi-media sub-scale," versus the veracity of their ability to measure cultural identification.

However, that does not mean that these tools have no use. Indeed, a version of ARSMA II in the next section serves as one means of measuring the subject of this dissertation. Other tools, though, must check and verify its conclusions.

I. Interpretative Summary of the Current State of Knowledge

In general, then, one can make several assertions regarding the general state of the literature on the question: Can students in an ADM achieve a strong secondary Western cultural proficiency?

(1) A lot of controversy arises concerning the concept of biculturality and cultural acquisition

This forms a political statement as much as an academic one. If one considers biculturality as a transition stage between adherence to one culture and that of another, then, while this makes for an easy, linear progression from one culture to another, an individual in the middle really belongs to neither culture.

The more generally accepted, later idea of biculturality poses that acquiring a greater cultural proficiency with one culture does not necessarily detract from another. Hence, this allows for four logical possibilities, an individual at home in either culture, at home in neither, or at home in both. To simply assume the latter theory, however, makes the fundamental error of ignoring situations in which cultures clash.

For that reason this study will use instruments designed with each model in mind.

(2) Arabic culture shows a high degree of both differentiation from American culture and endurance in the face of American culture.

This should not come as a surprise after considering the early portions of this dissertation, especially chapter three. A communitarian, risk-avoiding culture differs profoundly from a risk-taking, individualistic one. Further, in all of the settings above, Arab students hold that culture in high esteem and, therefore, give it up with extreme reluctance. This high adherence comes, at least partly, from the veneration held for Arabic as a language and its association with the Koran.

Indeed, this very differentiation from American culture could potentially give Arab culture a particular strength in the struggle not to succumb to enforced assimilation. A culture closer to American culture would not present quite the stark contrast that on occasion presents itself to the Arab faced with choosing between behaviors accepted by the two cultures.

(3) Previous studies took place in conditions in which one culture or the other clearly enjoyed political and social dominance.

In none of the cases above did the groups enjoy social equality. Within Kuwait, clearly Arab culture offers itself as the dominant social culture, and in the United States, the reverse holds true. Even in Israel, the Palestinian students suffered, to some degree, their inferior social position. However, this fundamentally contrasts with the situation at ADM because the school effectively holds no minorities other than the teachers themselves who appear in a relatively unusual status as purveyors of a culture provisionally, but not totally, accepted. Figure 10.3 summarizes the results of such cultural encounters:

Parents enrolling their children in ADM envision their children's Westernization as having a clear and limited set of goals, rather like Arab college students attending American universities, only somewhat more extensive.

(4) Many studies and papers only used a single methodology for study.

One might put these into the categories of (1) questionnaires, (2) interviews, (3) in-depth observations, and (4) teacher observation. Fewer attempt to use more than one methodology for triangulation. In particular, this seems important, given, as indicated before, the complex nature of biculturality and the difficulty of measuring it.

(5) Few measures exist for measuring Arab cultural identity and none, specifically, for identifying Kuwaiti identity.

The vast majority of ethnic identification instruments, again, bear more relevance to the American experience than to that of other countries or situations. Thus, the two studies that look at Arab students’ identification both create their own, one-time measures of Arab cultural identity. For that reason, this study will, with no hesitation, simply present another one since one can hardly consider either instrument as particularly well established or definitive.

Having said that, we can then proceed to the methodology section.

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