The arab culture and the arab self: Emphasis on gender

Maher M. Abu-Hilal*, Said Aldhafri, Muna Al-Bahrani, Mohammad Kamali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to examine the interaction between culture and psychological constructs such as self-concept, goal orientations, and achievement. Of interest in this paper is the differential socialization of boys and girls in the Arab culture and how socialization affects self-concept, goal orientation, and achievement. In this chapter, we review the literature published about these constructs with Arab samples in various Arab countries. Also, unpublished data will be used to address issues of socialization, self-concept, goal orientations, and achievement. In this paper, we argue that boys and girls have different socializations and, hence, may express different goal orientations and different levels of self-concept and achievement. We also argue that Arab boys are more assertive, while Arab girls are more affi liated. For the purpose of this chapter, we will rely on various instruments. These instruments were originally developed in the West. Among these instruments are Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), Student Background Questionnaire (SBQ), and Self-Description Questionnaire (SDQ). Part of the data for this chapter was collected by the authors, and other data are from the TIMSS database. Although valid and reliable, these instruments still require some adjustment to suit the Arab culture more. Preliminary results indicate that Arab boys and girls differ on many psychological constructs. In discussing results, we will contemplate on two opposing types of the individual and the culture. In that, we will address the issue whether the Arab individual is independent or interdependent and whether the culture is individualistic or collectivistic.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Asian Learners
Subtitle of host publicationA Festschrift in Honor of David Watkins
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789812875761
ISBN (Print)9789812875754
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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