Open Access Dissertation
Date of Award
Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Rodolfo Martinez
The purpose of this study was to determine if Arabic students from one community differed in their attitudes toward cultural assimilation based on grade level, length of time in the United States, gender, and academic performance in high school. A total of 216 Arabic high school students in grades 9 through 12 participated in this study. These students were either immigrants or children of immigrants. Cultural assimilation for the purpose of this study was defined as the process whereby a minority group gradually adopts customs and attitudes of the majority culture. This type of adaptation generally leads to disappearance of the minority culture. An original instrument was developed for this study which measured 11 subscales, including: school-related factors, isolation, expectations, maintenance of ethnic identity, awareness of Arabic culture, bicultural adaptation, socialization, ethnic pride, acceptance, dating, and friends. Students were equally represented across grade levels, with a similar number of male and female students included in the sample. More than 80% of the participants had been born in countries outside the United States and the majority spoke both Arabic and English. Family structures were generally described as close, with parents more controlling in the United States than in their native countries. Most students indicated they were maintaining their Arabic culture. Differences were found among students on their attitudes toward cultural assimilation. The subscale, friends, differed among students by grade level. Differences were found for isolation and bicultural adaptation when compared by length of time in the United States. Male and female students differed in their attitudes toward maintenance of ethnic identity, bicultural adaptation, and dating. Students with high grade point averages differed from students with lower grade point averages when compared on isolation and expectations. The findings of this study showed that Arabic students, as their length of time in the United States increased became more assimilated into the majority. They tended to want to maintain their Arabic culture, while becoming assimilated into the majority culture. The students generally felt that United States schools were more open, with more freedom available than schools in Arabic countries.
Saab, Dib, "Cultural conflict : attitudes of Arabic high school students toward cultural adaptation in an educational setting" (1997). Wayne State University Dissertations. 1192.