Research Paper: Saudi Female Expats in Paris International Migrants

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Saudi Female Expats in Paris

International Migrants make up about 190 million of the population of the world today. (Balbo 5) the ratio between migrated men and women is roughly the same. Regardless of the reason a person migrated, the main concept here is that they left their country of origin and moved to another location. Many say that migration goes on to on economically build up a country and it significantly contributes to the GDP of both the countries. (Balbo 5) it should be noted that change of funds, services and economies is not the only thing that takes place when migration occurs. Seeing the altitude of diversity that we have today, it is believed that migration has created third diversity. (Balbo 7) it is the diversity of different cultures and communities that brings out concepts like multiculturalism and collective identity.

Regardless of what an individual chooses to do, it is quite apparent that this topic of crucial. As it is stated earlier, migration is very common in the world today. A major reason why I am going for this study is because it has not been carried out before. For all the people who have had to move from one place to another, it is possible that the experience created strains on the development of their self and their identity. This progression into a new society with changed cultures and traditions is not an easy task. As it is quite apparent, many people get so absorbed in this process that they forget their true identity and forget the culture that they were raised into. Even though a person may not realize it at that time, it can go on to change our identity. Being a Saudi and living in a country that is quite different from my native culture, I want to see how that happens. It is true that Islam and the West have always had their difference. Cultural imperialism is on the peak and is attempting to change people from their original thoughts and original culture. Even though the difference is there, I see some positive aspects in the West that I feel were missing in Islam.

As it would be apparent from the analysis of the interviews carried out, freedom and independence are some of the main components that are not stressed upon in Islam. I feel that women in Islam are not allowed to create much ambition probably due to the extremism on them. Sadly enough, the extremists always go for the ways that actually degrade women in Islam. In reality, I believe that Islam is religion of freedom and respect for women. Despite what the truth is, it appears that cultural and not religious pressures limit women from going out and pursing their potential.

Background

We live in the age of globalization in the cultural sphere today and free markets is not only thing that globalization has given us. Typically, globalization has been linked with the destruction of cultural identities, westernization of the consumer culture and accelerating encroachment of just one culture. (Tomlinson) Some of the anti-globalization activists actually go on to say that globalization are an extension of the western cultural imperialism. (Shepard and Hayduk) Migration and globalization therefore are blamed to be factors that cause a person to lose his or her identity. Identity is basically the representation of self and others as it shaped by an individual based on how they represent themselves and others in their community. (Balbo 7) Therefore, when talking about identity; there are two aspects to look into. One way is the cultural or collective identity that an individual forms. This identity is basically dependant on the culture of that certain individual. These cultural values and traditions are therefore passed on from one generation to the next.

On the other hand, there is an individual identity that is bound to change with space and time. This identity is not only in the hands of that individuals but it also depends about on what others perceive about you. This identity also relies on how well you maintain your interaction with others and how much you adapt to their way of life. Therefore, it should be noted that identity is socially constructed and a person is subject to different sorts of choices. These choices are that a person believes that he or she is part of that identity, then there is the notion that he chooses to be a part of it and then of course there is the option of refusing to be part of that identity. (Olivier)

Problematic Discussion

An interesting thing to note is that identity and cultural relation is not recognized when a person lives around the people of the same culture. When you see people around you believing the same things as you and practicing the same things as you, you feel just like the rest of them. The actual problem of identity comes out forward when a person travels to other places. When these people see how different they are and what their culture is, that is when they develop a conscious awareness of their own culture. Therefore, it is established that when a person sees different cultures around him when he travels or comes to the west that is when they learn more about their identity and their culture.

Research Question

The major research question is that what relationship is present between family, identity and ambition with the female students in the American University in Paris. We need to figure out and discuses that the techniques of self that these girls have formed and how or if these techniques have helped these girls maintain their cultural integrity. It is quite easy for a person to let go of his culture and his norms if his identity is not well established in the first place. Lastly, we will also see how these Saudi girls go on to deal with ambition while living in Paris.

Thesis

The thesis that is presented is that even though these girls are now exposed to a new culture and tradition, they have not completely left their own culture behind. Using techniques that will be disused below, these girls are very much in sync with their religious values, cultural values and tradition. They do not want to mimic a French person or an American but they are open to explore and see different ideas as well.

Methodology

Keeping in the mind the overall purpose and the objectives of the research, the methodology that was used it both qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research is utilized because it assists in providing coherent and comprehensive explanation of the subjects that need to be researched. It should be noted that all of the subjects were chosen were different in one form or another. Even though the questionnaire provide to the subjects was the same, their responses were varied and needed to be analyzed thoroughly.

The questionnaire therefore makes up the quantitative method of the research. These questionnaires are handed out to the Saudi x-pats in American University in Paris. The interviews basically provided me with the means to carefully analyze every individual in the process. Utilizing discourse analysis, I will be able to study the variable theories of self. On the other hand, content analysis will aid be in examining and analyzing any academic journals and articles regarding the topic in hand. Apart from the academic journals and the articles, I have access to the interviews by eight Saudi girls who live in Paris right now.

The sample group was basically selected on the basis of gender and nationality. This research topic was quite crucial for me as I am a young women belonging to Saudi Arabia and living in Paris. Therefore, my sample size consisted of eight girls who had some linkage to the Saudi heritage at one point or another. Half of the girls analyzed were those that have moved directly from Saudi Arabia to Paris. On the other hand, four girls had lived in places elsewhere before they moved to Paris.

Analysis

To analyze subjects or any topic for that better, it is crucial to have proper understanding of the subject before hand. It is only with adequate knowledge that a successful analysis can be done. Firstly, it should be understood where these girls come from. Most if not all the girls belong to families that are very religious and controlling. Families control where and how much a girl studies and when or to whom she should get married to. Therefore, knowing and understanding all these details, I will conduct interviews with these girls. These answers will be analyzed while keeping all the aforementioned information in mind.

It is important to see that by always staying in the shadow of their parents, these girls have never really been exposed to unlimited ambitions and freedom as such. They always had to look for the approval and the permission of their family. The independence and the freedom that the West offers… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Saudi Female Expats in Paris International Migrants.  (2013, May 17).  Retrieved March 26, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/saudi-female-expats-paris-international/3929961

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"Saudi Female Expats in Paris International Migrants."  Essaytown.com.  May 17, 2013.  Accessed March 26, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/saudi-female-expats-paris-international/3929961.