Negotiating Gender Roles in Intercultural Communication in Qatar


This sociocultural linguistic study explores gender roles within the Qatari community emphasizing masculinity-femininity in terms of education, marriage, interdependence-independence and from different perspectives, including religion and traditions. More specifically, it focuses on the ways whereby gender roles associated with male and female Qatari students in intercultural communication courses in a university in Qatar are negotiated between them and their two female instructors from the US and Greece. Qatar has come under the spotlight due to its successful bid to host World Cup 2022, resulting in the diversification of its population, a fact that renders intercultural communication a sine qua non for a smooth co-existence of everybody who lives and works in the country. Falling under the scope of the __education for intercultural exchange__ stream of the conference, our aim is to contribute towards the development of good practices related to teaching __exchange of information between members who are unalike culturally__ (Berry et al. 2011: 471) by arguing that an efficient way of overcoming misunderstandings between instructors and students is to engage in a pedagogical approach, which we call __dialogical infotainment__. Used to negotiate relationship and professional roles, this pedagogical approach translates into holding a dialogue, interactive discussions, and oral interviews with our students aiming at eliciting ethnographic information about each other__s cultures in an entertaining way, e.g. through the narration of stories and/or through role playing activities. Infotainment serves the ultimate goal of sharpening our cultural sensitivity and subsequent tolerance and respect for each other__s gender role-related peculiarities.

Author Information
Irene Theodoropoulou, Qatar University, Qatar
Iglal Ahmed, Qatar University, Qatar

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2016
Stream: Education for intercultural communication

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon