Bicultural Egyptians, Self And Other Perceptions: Strangers Abroad; Foreigners At Home

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Richard Rodman


The author used a combination of phenomenology, grounded theory and heuristic methods to examine the common experiences and perceptions of Bicultural Egyptians (BEs) in Egypt. BEs were identified in the study as people who spent a significant amount of time living in another country during their formative years and/or who had at least one parent who was not Egyptian. Data was collected through several methods. (Please refer to the section entitled procedure for details.) Grounded theory was used to thematically analyse the data in order to honor both an emic and etic view. The lenses through which the data were interpreted were Egypt's history, society and economics, as seen from within a postcolonial context. This interpretation grounds the phenomena within the larger context of Egypt's post colonial history, placing the relevance of this study within the context of current global trends and setting a new framework for the further exploration of the subject matter.

New findings in the field of biculturalism on the nature of bicultural identity were discovered. BEs experienced certain phenomena as a group, even if they are raised abroad or with a non-Egyptian parent in that parent's country. For example, they had experiences of suffering from identity ambivalence. They also were subjected to similar experiences, such as being rejected, and/or subjected to both jealousy and common stereotypes. As a result, they have developed special coping mechanisms to deal with these difficulties. One of these coping mechanisms is that they try even harder to fit into Egyptian society, almost to the point of denying their other cultural identity. The other coping mechanism they commonly employ is to seek support from other bicultural friends. These findings, read in the context of Egyptian history shed considerable insight on the experience of biculturalism as well as important social trends in Egypt.


Cognitive Psychology | Place and Environment | Social Psychology and Interaction

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