There is More to it Than Meets the Eye: An Intercultural Study of Religious Speech Acts between Jordanian and American Students

Motasim Almwajeh, Luqman Rababah


The purpose of this study is to investigate the use of religious utterances in everyday speech by Jordanian university students and those of U. S. university students. This study tries to compare and contrast the frequency of religious speech by Jordanian and American students in order to show cross-cultural similarities and variations, and to foreground connections among linguistic, cultural, and religious subtexts. The researchers contend that people, from various cultures paradigms, need to re-envision and reformulate their methods of interaction, both locally and globally. The study took place at IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Five Jordanian students and five American students are selected from various fields of study and specializations. They are mostly acquaintances who expressed their willingness to help with this study.  The researchers conducted ten personal interviews with all the participants, and each interview lasted about 30 minutes. The researchers chose to audio record the interviews because all the participants signed a consent form and thus gave us the permission to do so. All the participants are IUP students; most of them are undergraduate students, but three of them are doing graduate studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Not only did the researchers hand each participant a copy of the questionnaire, but they also explained the questions to them and ascertained that they fully understood each question. The participants were presented with the same exact questions to see how they respond to these situations, and the researchers interpreted their responses and have come up with conclusions about the integration of religious language in the parameters of everyday speech used by U.S. and Jordanian students. Basically, the data collected delineates similarities and differences between respondents from both cultures and features intersections between religiously marked language and everyday speech.

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