Above: U.S. servicemembers board an Air Force plane bound for Saudi Arabia.

Below: Muslim pilgrims gather in Mecca for the annual observance of Ramadan.

Intercultural Readiness: Preparing for Duty in Southwest Asia

The purpose of this research project is to apply the uncertainty reduction theory in developing a comprehensive training program to sensitize U.S. troops to cultural differences experienced in Southwest Asia.

The end of the Gulf War in 1991 was just the beginning of a semi-permanent presence for thousands of U.S. military members serving in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Military personnel are now expected to comply with restrictions out of respect for host nation religion sensitivities.

There is currently no standardized training in place to prepare military members for these deployments. Each branch of service describes the rules and expectations of behavior without addressing the rationale behind these guidelines.

The uncertainty reduction theory is the driving force behind using the didactic/culture specific model for developing the formal training program. A pre-test and post-test is recommended to determine varying levels of cultural awareness. When the results are ascertained, the diffusion of information theory uses change agents, gatekeepers and opinion leaders to orient military members to the differences between the cultures.


Introduction Background Rationale Theories Methods Conclusion


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