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Volume :23 Issue : 2 1995      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Social Distance between Saudi students and Arab nationals

Auther : Abdulla A. Faisal

The goal of this paper is to measure the social distance between Saudi students and national of Arab League states. Social distance was defined as the degree of acceptance between a person and another person from a different group. Bogardous scale of social distance was modified to fit the Saudi culture. Theoretically, social distance varied from 1 to 10 , with 1 indicating complete acceptance of an nationality and 10 indicating complete rejection. Data were collected from a stratified random sample of 468 university students in Riaydh; all of whom were Saudi nationals. These data were collected immediately after the Gulf war.

It was found that the Qataries are the one nationality accepted most by the Saudi respondents with a score of 4.654. The least accepted nationality is the is the Yemani with a score of 8.115. The other nationalities score were distributed between the Qatar and Yemani scores. It was also found that the Gulf states nationals – as a cohort – received the lowest scores in the study. Thohugh with varying degrees of social acceptance, it seems that the respondents identify with the gulf states’ nationals as citizens of the Gulf area, just like themselves.

It was also found that nationals of Syria, Egypt and Morocco received higher degrees of social acceptance than the rest of the Arab nationalities.

It is important to note, hoever, that these three states supported Saudi Arabia during the gulf crisis. Nationals of state that supported Iraq, on the other hand received the highest scores indicating least acceptance. These states are Libya, Palestine, Yemen and of course Iraq.

It could generally be said that the respondents had a clear idea of who they are and what their interests are. Based on the responses provided, it appears that the respondents feel closer to arab nationals that support their interests and feel distanced from those who are a threat to these interests.

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