Theme 1

Example (direct quotations)

Pre-intervention: Culture and ICC as an interpersonal conflict without holistic conceptualisation


Defining cultural differences in personal terms

The word culture was mentioned in our Islamic studies. Islam taught us how to respect other religions and cultures. Kuwaiti education cares about Islamic studies which represent the culture of Kuwait (cycle two student).


Defining cultural differences in interpersonal terms

I used to work in groups with students who come from England; these students were looking at me in a strange way despite speaking with them in English. I felt they were so judgmental and judging me because I am an Arab. (cycle one student)


Defining culture without contextualization

Culture… shows us how the country itself is… how they lived and what they ate and how their soul was (cycle two student)


Cross-cultural communication without contextualization

I could not deal with Germans because of their language. It was so difficult for me to learn German, and they do not speak English (cycle one student).


Intercultural communication in terms of nonverbal communication

I had a situation with a Saudi Arabian guy. He was staring at me I think because I was not fully covered like Saudi Arabian ladies. I did not like it, and it was very negative (cycle one student).


Level of confidence

I (a lady student) do not deal with people but my family when I travel outside Kuwait. My brothers deal with them if there is a need (cycle one student)

Summary Analysis of Theme 1

Ÿ Overall, students had a skewed image of ICC before the intervention. They often conflated culture with cultural manifestations (e.g., cuisine, language, and religion).

Ÿ In the same way, they conflated ICC with interpersonal incompatibility and conflicts (e.g., language barriers and verbal or nonverbal communication interpreted as offensive).

Ÿ Some struggled to see culture apart from religion.

Ÿ Students comprehended ICC in relation to their reactions in situations where ICC was required. However, there was no perception that negotiation or compromise was required. Rather, the expectation was that the out-group would compromise and adopt the culture of the in-group.

Ÿ In general, students were not able to define culture or ICC in any specific way.