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Abstract

Qatari society is witnessing an increase in cultural diversity due to a large number of immigrants from different cultures. This cultural diversity may create a kind of cultural isolation between non-Qataris and Qatari people. International migration has led to diverse and plural cultural identities and ethnic groups in the same society. Studies have shown that immigrants face problems of adaptation to, and integration with, the culture in the communities to which they migrate. This study aims to identify the degree of social integration between expatriates and Qataris Methodology: This study used a focus group (14 focus groups, total of 65 participants from different nationalities) with an open-ended question. By using convenience and snowball sampling techniques Results: The primary arenas of interaction between Qatari and non-Qatari were in work/educational contexts. For example, participants from all groups revealed that while they have good working relationships with Qataris (or expatriates), these relationships remain in the public sphere at work or school and generally do not extend beyond these boundaries. Barriers to Integration: Language: Considered as the major barrier by most expatriates to relationship with Qataris. Culture diversity: Foreigners who share an important identity such as religion (e.g., Muslims, Arabs) are more able to make relationship with Qatari people and more likely to assimilate into Qatari society. Transient nature of expatriates: Most expatriates come to Qatar on 2-4 year work visas. This was mentioned as a barrier to social integration by both expatriates and Qataris. Appearance of Qataris: The national dress is worn by most Qatari men and women, and several focus groups mentioned that this attire can be intimidating and act as a barrier to casual interactions. Security and lack of security: While the expatriates expressed comfort and a sense of security in Qatar, the nationals showed lack of security. Conclusions: The results showed some manifestations and causes of cultural isolation between Qataris and expatriates. It showed that immigrants who come to work in Qatar faced difficulties in communicating with the Qatari people.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHPS1
2012-10-01
2020-09-18
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.AHPS1
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