Western Media Influence on Emiratis Women National Identity

Hala El Saj, Charles M Sarraf

Abstract


In the last few years the expansion of modernism and globalization impact on different cultures has gained an importance among researchers. As borders have become increasingly porous as images; information and people are being exported with ease and speed across and beyond territorial boundaries. Thus as national boundaries have become increasingly permeable, susceptible to the outside influences of global information networks; this no doubt has an impact upon identities and communities sustained across space. This study examines the influence of the western media namely Oprah Winfrey show on Emirati working class women living in Abu Dhabi. This study explores the kind of Western programs consumed by these women, how these women perceive their national identity and to what extent their national identity is influenced by the media especially Oprah Winfrey show. The method adopted in this study is the multi-method approach using qualitative and quantitative methods in collecting data. The results showed that the Western talk shows are the most preferred programs among Abu Dhabi working women. A distinguishing attitude of belonging was expressed by all the participants asserting that they are proud to belong to the United Arab Emirates and proud to be Emirati. A concern and the feeling of a real danger was expressed by some participants regarding the modernization occurred in the country accompanied with the increase of expatriates number effecting the sense of nationalism among the locals. The study concluded that to some extent Oprah Winfrey has an impact on social and cultural thoughts among Abou Dhabi working class women, but did not succeed to have a significant influence on their national identity.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n4p92


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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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