• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Preserving Arab Identity in the Process of Globalization

Extracts from this document...


Preserving Arab Identity in the Process of Globalization By Thomas G. Spearman Raphael Patai examined Arab culture from many different perspectives in his book The Arab Mind, revealing much about their value systems, behaviors, beliefs, ethos, and ability to deal with westernization within the context of globalization. Its treatment was both objective and in-depth as it focused on the issues concerning Arab civilization. Can they co-exist with the West in a way that is functional without losing their cultural identity? Will the constants of their Islamic values suffer assimilation or outright disintegration from Western influences? This discussion will focus on these questions using Patai's insight and expertise. It will look at the challenges, both internal and external, faced by Arabs and how it might impact their culture and, on a larger scale, the process of globalization. The real key to understanding the region, as Patai clearly stated, is getting to know the Arabs the way they see themselves. The expression of the Arab collective mind reveals the complexity of their culture. By understanding the modalities of their basic personality, the real picture emerges, which is the starting point of Patai's book. Arabs, without question, make up a distinctive culture whose past, both Islamic and pre-Islamic, form the basis of their sociocultural aggregate. As far back as 800 BC Bedouin societies sprung up, thus forming the substratum of their varied, but homogenous, culture. ...read more.


One of the major problems is the "deterministic orientation" of the Arab mind-an attitude, according to Patai, that causes "considerable difficulties when it comes to industrialization and modernization."7 Arabs are inclined to abdicate responsibility due to an engendered passivity, for fate is the expression of God's will. To the Arab's way of thinking, preservation and continuation of the status quo are more important than innovation. Without the spirit of innovation, usually found in Western societies, the stifling affect of inertia fell over Arab culture, impeding their ability to cope with Western methodologies.8 From a historical perspective, Arab culture did not begin to wake up from its lethargy until Napoleon Bonaparte invaded and conquered Egypt. This was at the beginning of the industrial revolution, which had a tremendous impact on the Arabic world. As things progressed, cataclysmic changes, brought about by two world wars, changed the map of the Middle East. In the 1950s Arab nation-states emerged independent, but at an interdependent level with the West. The growing pains suffered by Arabs in their attempt at nation building and modernization was significant. But nothing was more damaging to the Arab mind, as Patai pointed out, than the loss to Israel in 1967 Arab-Israeli War. As a result of their failure, a deep scar was left on the Arab psyche; their honor was shamed. ...read more.


The central problem facing all Arab Muslims, as Patai stated in The Arab Mind, is: . . .how to find a new way of life-Islamic in character-which will be halfway between the East and the West and which will provide the internal stability necessary to enable Muslims to face their problems independently. The Arab World can borrow technology from the West but it must find the answers to its deeper problems within itself.15 In sum, there needs to be a cathartic synthesis between East and West that achieves balance without losing Arab identity. Many areas will need to be addressed, both internal and external, for this to happen. The Arab mindset, status of women, education and literacy, national, intranational, and international economies, traditionalism and rigidity verses progressiveness, language barriers, inter-Arab conflicts, corrupt political regimes and resistance to Westernization all figure into the dynamic. The process of integration within the realm of globalization will take decades. Forecasting the evolution of these divergent Arab nations will be difficult. Having said that, success can only be measured in terms of peace and prosperity within their own sphere-not from any Western evaluation. 1 Raphael Patai, The Arab Mind, New York, Hatherleigh Press:12-17. 2 Ibid, 32. 3 Ibid, 131. 4 Ibid, 151. 5 Ibid, 153. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid, 163. 8 Ibid, 163-164. 9 Ibid, 373. 10 Ibid,199. 11 Ibid, 204. 12 Ibid, 209. 13 Ibid, 214. 14 Ibid, 231and 234. 15 Ibid, 266-267. 7 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays


    They did attempt to look good for the media, by allowing reporters to accompany soldiers on the non-important, safer missions. But were strict over where they could go, and whom they could accompany. Trying to control what the journalist are allowed to report is difficult, especially in countries, which claim to offer 'Freedom of speech'.

  2. A Study of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    History Iran has a long and rich history. The Iranian civilization was founded 6000 years ago in the southwestern part of what is known as Iran of today. Some of the world's most ancient settlements have been excavated in the Caspian region and on the Iranian plateau; village life there began at about 4000 B.C.

  1. The Arab Israeli Conflict -

    This involved using sabotage to force Israel to adopt an offensive position, which in turn would force the Arabs to step up their military preparedness. This cycle of action-retaliation-reaction would lead to a gradual escalation of tension on the borders, and eventually to the Six Day War in 1967.

  2. Account for the tensions between the Islamic World and the West

    Orientalism is very much apart of Western consciousness as it shapes identity it denotes what is Western and what is not, in such it reaffirms the notion of 'us and them.' In the post September the eleventh world the notion of 'us and them' is one that is widely recognised and used.

  1. The Arab Israeli Conflict - source related study.

    are exaggerated, which means that it is impossible to say that USA and USSR are solely to blame. Source D blames the failure to act by the League of Nations. However it is impossible to blame the war on the removal of UN troops because if there were no other factors then the war would not have started.

  2. Extent of American Unity and Identity.

    When General William Pitt finally showed up to help, he began forcing men to enlist and taking colonists' weapons and tools with no compensation. The Americans were not used to the British officers. Years of living without classes and ranks had given the Americans a unique attitude (Doc.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work