Saudi Citizens’ Desire to Communicate with International Visitors
An accelerated tempo of globalization of virtually all aspects of human life has reaffirmed the need to interact and relate well with people of diverse cultures, in both liberal and conservative societies. Islamic societies like Saudi Arabia and other considerably conservative societies from the East have not been spared from this wave of globalization. This study will explore the Saudi citizens’ desire to communicate with international visitors. In doing so, it seeks to measure the level of ethnocentrism, which may affect their ability to communicate well with people from other cultures. The study is limited to the native Saudi citizens who are living in Riyadh.
Typically, a researcher seeks to view a phenomenon, probably studied earlier by other scholars, from a different inquisitive perspective. In other words, a researcher seeks to think differently and provide a different viewpoint about a given topic of study. Therefore, s/he conducts an inquiry into a topic of study in accordance with his /her view of reality and knowledge based on a theory or philosophical perspective of his or her own choice. A theory, an idea, a concept, or a philosophical position from which a researcher carries out an academic inquiry on a selected research topic, is referred to as a research paradigm (Maxwell, 2005, p.36). Choosing a research paradigm is certainly one of the most vital decisions that a researcher must make while designing a qualitative research study (Creswell, 1998, p.7; Guba & Lincoln, 1994, p.107; Maxwell, 2005, p.36), because a research paradigm provides a researcher with a philosophical framework within which to locate his /her work.
In choosing a given research paradigm over the other, a researcher examines the following basic issues: the overall philosophical postulations about the nature of the world (ontological questions), and how one can comprehend that nature (epistemological questions) and methodological strategies (Maxwell, 2005, p.36). The most important paradigms to qualitative research include phenomenology, feminism, postmodernism, interpretivism, and critical theory (Maxwell, 2005, p.36; Babbie, 2010, p.61). In a well-designed qualitative research, answers to ontological, epistemological, and methodological questions direct a researcher to one or more of these paradigms.
This study will use interpretivism paradigm, also referred to as the interpretive, interpretative, or interpretivist approach. This paradigm focuses on human beings and the way they interpret and understand reality (Holloway, 1997, p.93). In this paradigm, researchers should approach those taking part in a particular study not as individual identities that exist in isolation, but in the complete context of their lives. Consequently, as aforementioned, this study will focus on the Saudis’ desire to communicate with global visitors within the complete context of their lives in Riyadh community and not as individual citizens existing in a vacuum. This factor underscores why this study specifically aims at determining the levels of ethnocentrism that may impede the Saudis’ desire to communicate with people from other cultures around the world.
It important to note that the nature of a research study is what determines one’s choice of research methodology. Quantitative and qualitative research studies are the most common types of research methodologies in academics. Qualitative research is widely used in human or social sciences where research studies focus on human beings, their behavior concerning various aspects of their life, as well as, how they make sense of reality in their diverse worlds.
Qualitative research is descriptive and exploratory in focus, in the sense that, it seeks to find out what one can comprehend about the perceptual experiences, meanings, and variations of a phenomenon of interest (Maykut & Morehouse, 1997, p.43). The outcome of this study will not be a generalization, but a deeper understanding of the social phenomenon of interest informed by researcher’s experience from the viewpoints of selected participants for the study, that is, sample groups from the Saudi citizens living in Riyadh. Qualitative research study employs an emergent design whereby, the participants selected for the study becomes the point of departure for a researcher (Maykut & Morehouse, 1997, p.43; Creswell, 2003, p.179-183).
Since the aim of this study is to understand the Saudis’ desire to communicate with global visitors and find out the extent to which ethnocentrism may hinder their ability to communicate with people from other cultures, data will be collected in a natural setting; that is, Riyadh. As pointed out earlier, collecting data within a natural setting will enable the researcher to understand the Saudis’ experience in the full context of their lives. It is important to note that, perceptions and experiences of one phenomenon of interest are tied to the context of one’s daily live (Maykut & Morehouse, 1997, p.45; Marshall & Rossman, 2010, p.93). Therefore, in a qualitative research study, a researcher is most likely to find out and reveal what is understandable about a chosen topic of interest in a natural setting. Furthermore, this study will use purposive sampling in order to ensure that participants selected will broaden the variability of the samples (Merriam, 2009, p.266). Since the research study is interested in exploring the Saudis’ desire to communicate with international visitors, it shall sample individual participants in Riyadh from different lifestyles. For instance, there can be sample sets of participants, who are literate, semi-illiterate, and/or illiterate. The study can also design sample sets of participants from different socio-economic strata of this society. Doing so will ensure that variability, which is common in social phenomena similar to the one targeted by this study, is reflected in the data collected.
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