Culture in the United States Versus Saudi Arabia


Every community in the world is unique. The uniqueness is brought about the culture. Culture refers to the way of life. It is important to note that culture is not limited to the way of life it is diverse as it incorporates the language, arts and sciences, thought, spirituality, social activity and interaction. This paper will focus on the how personalities and identities are formed and shaped within the culture in the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Cycles in life

Every human being goes through a similar sequence in the life cycle however; the differences in the cycles are brought about by culture. Different cultures have different traditions and customs in the various cycles of life. This brings about different personalities as well as identities within the society. The different personalities are studied in psychological anthropology.

Saudi Arabia is in the Arabian Peninsula the original habitat of Arabs and the religion of Islam. The cultural identity of Saudi Arabian is that of Arabs and Muslim. Furthermore, the Saudi Arabians identify with the contemporary culture of the country (Cole, 2010). The Saudi Arabians borrow heavily in terms of culture from the Bedouin people who were dwellers of the Arab Peninsula. They have copied their way of life in areas such as fishing, farming artisanship and business. They also maintain close kin based identities and as such, nepotism is highly appreciated in the country because employing one’s relatives is considered good, as one can trust the people whom they know (Saudi Arabia Culture, 2010). On the other hand, the United States, found in North America. The country is identified for its economic and political dominance. The Americans are highly individualistic and the culture has regional inflections (Doane, 2010).

Gender roles

As an Arabian child goes through the various life cycles, they are socialized into various gender roles. The society has strict policy regarding gender segregation. Boys and girls are expected to learn separate roles. Boys are taught male work while girls learn their female roles form their mothers. Women and men are not allowed to interact in the public. This means that even in places of work there is strict gender segregation. Women get employment in women only sections or in case of teachers in girl schools only. Even on public transport or market, there are sections set apart for women. The women are taught this early in life and thus as they grow up they know their place. On the contrary, an American child is brought up in a society that values gender equality. Women work outside home and can take nay kind of employment. Thus, women in American are more exposed than their Saudi Arabian Counterparts. Gender interaction is allowed. Thus, boys and girls attend same schools and they taught by both male and female teachers (USA Culture, n.d.).

Women have fewer rights than their male counterparts do and thus they grow up to be dependent on the males. For instance, a woman cannot travel abroad without the consent of a male or drive. The males conduct almost every private and public affairs on behalf of the women. The women have a high status within the family in their role as mothers, wives and sisters. On the other hand, the male are brought up to dominate all aspects of life and thus the Saudi Arabian society is patriarchal (Cole, 2010). On the contrary, in the United States women and men have equal rights. This means that women can own property, drive or travel alone without a male’s consent but women have the same economic and social benefits that men have (Doane, 2010).


Culture determines a person’s identity and personality. The various customs and believes practiced in a culture shape the individuals as they fit in the different roles set aside for them. This means that individual’s culture becomes the national identification for a certain country. Thus, if one wants to know the values of a country begin by looking at the individual’s culture.


Cole, P., (2010). Saudi Arabia. Web.

Doane, M., (2010). United States of America. Web.

Saudi Arabia Culture., (2010). Web.

USA Culture, Language, Customs and Etiquette. (n.d.). 2010. Web.

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