Economic, Social, and Political Attitudes in the UAE: A Comparison of Emirati and Non-Emirati Youth in Ras Al Khaimah
Calvert W. Jones
August 12, 2011
Schooling is widely acknowledged as one of the key arenas in which the basic economic, social, and political attitudes of a population take root. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), much tends to be assumed about young people’s attitudes toward risk, competition, achievement motivation, responsibility, and other areas relevant to national development. But relatively little research has been conducted to confirm or deny popular assertions in these areas, or to explore the variation that may exist across individual emirates or across school types within each emirate. This paper reports preliminary findings from a study of the economic, social, and political attitudes of youth in Ras Al Khaimah, using data collected across a range of secondary schools including two government schools, one elite private school, and two Indian schools. Findings should help construct a more nuanced empirical picture of the UAE’s growing youth population by investigating the different ways in which its members are being socialized. The research may also offer insights into how to improve policymaking for national development that are better suited to the cultural diversity of the country's growing youth population.