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Satellite Television and Arab Youth: The Consumption of Materialism, Not Freedoms - Assignment Example

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Name Instructor Class 20 June 2012 Satellite Television and Arab Youth: The Consumption of Materialism, Not Freedoms Young Arabs spend more time watching television than they do in school or at home, and some scholars believe that they are learning to use something that their society has long neglected them to have – a voice…
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Satellite Television and Arab Youth: The Consumption of Materialism, Not Freedoms
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Download file to see previous pages I agree with Karam that satellite television has not served its civic purpose of providing a public sphere for Arab youth, and instead, it only offers a “breathing space” that preserves the political and socio-economic status quo in many authoritarian Arab countries. Satellite broadcasting has not democratized Arab societies and governments in contrast to other countries. In “Arab Youth, Television and ‘Affluenza,’” Harmon presents the results of a survey conducted on Egyptian and Saudi youth that correlated television viewing with materialistic attitudes. This survey, Harmon says, opposed findings in the United States and Europe, where in these countries, the more teenagers watched the TV, the more disillusioned they became with materialistic consumption. Should the society blame the media for the content that Arab media shows through satellite broadcasting? This paper argues against this idea. Instead, it proposes that the government is still to be largely blamed for TV content that does not give the youth the opportunity to express their opinions and to tackle issues that are important to their demographic segment and their society. Karam notes that in Arab TV, “one-dimensional” criticism occurs (82). ...
His findings showed that only 10% of the topics “were directly related to the principles and practices of democracy, reform, or development,” because majority tackled the Palestine, international issues, and the intervention of America and other western countries in Arab affairs (Karam 82). Karam laments that even Al-Jazeera, which is already more open to criticism of Arab governments, does not perform an active role in engaging citizens in analyzing and resolving salient political and socio-economic concerns. Indeed, this paper agrees that there is a difference between wagging tongues and joining hands for meaningful political and social changes. Satellite TV promotes the status quo because it offers only a “breathing space” for the Arab youth. A “breathing space” pertains to an outlet that helps people to escape reality and to live in a fantasy world (Karam 95). The breathing space includes consuming movies, music, sports, and other forms of entertainment. Arab TV presents a breathing space, and does not contain discussions, especially ones that encourage the youth to actually participate in these debates so that they can offer their own ideas and criticisms. The absence of freedom of speech and demonstration are some of the crucial reasons why 25% of those who graduated from Arab universities in 1995 to 1996 emigrated to other countries (Karam 84). They are leaving their countries to find economic advantages elsewhere, as well as social and political freedoms that they have not found in their Arab societies (Karam 84). When Karam interviewed the youth from different Arab societies, they expressed similar sentiments on their voicelessness and the hopelessness of changing their situations (Karam 84). Sarah, a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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