Marwan’s main argument is that the Star Academy presented as a controversial show among the Saudi Arabian community because it challenged the Saudi’s culture and religious foundation of the community’s social order by encouraging women’s agency and promoting the ideas of cultural hybridity while individuating authenticity. According to the article, the show assumed an open and liberal perspective that emphasized concepts such as democracy and equality. In some extent, these ideas clashed directly with the customs and norms promoted in the Saudi tradition. Accordingly, the author argues that the custodians of the Saudi culture viewed the show as an existential threat since it promoted an alternative social reality while weakening the fundamental principles of the dominant social order (Marwan 345).
The article provides a clear example of some of the concepts and themes covered in the reading, “Homogenisation and globalization” by John Tomlinson. The reading “Globalization and New Media” emphasizes the need of acknowledging the unchallengeable role of globalization and new media in shaping the world’s culture and authenticity of individual civilizations. Tomlinson identifies homogenization and new media as modern elements that pose an apparent threat to cultural authenticity (Tomlinson 893). This is evident in Marwan’s article as the Saudi culture or community is seen struggling to oppose the new media which presents as a threat to their social order and culture. The Star Academy program can be viewed as a new media. The program (new media), threatens the establishment of the Saudi culture by creating an environment that builds women while challenging some Saudi norms and belief such as restricted gender mixing.
The effect of homogenization in threatening culture authenticity is also clearly explained in Marwan’s article where the western values and perceptions are seen diffusing into the Saudi culture. The custodians of the Saudi culture feel that the western forces are weakening their Saudi authenticity.
Various things have changed since the article was written, which have the potential of affecting the strength and the value of the argument. It is apparent that the present Saudi community has embraced values such as gender equity and democracy. Present day Saudi women are empowered and are taking equal challenges as their male counterparts while interacting in a freer manner with them than it was during the time the article was authored. In this context, the evidence used by the author may pose a less relevant argument presently, than during the time the article was written.
Through the article, I have learned and acknowledged the indisputable vital role of media in the society. I have appreciated media as a vital tool that can be utilized positively to change a community’s social and political order. It is clear that constructive media can be used to challenge the community to shun outdated beliefs and perceptions to adopt more logical and fair views. This explains the need of valuing the vital role of media in all spheres of life. Particularly, there is need of instituting effective policies that would ensure that the media being used in a constructive manner for the good welfare of the society since media can be beneficial if used appropriately and destructive when misused.
Marwan, Kraidy “Reality Television, Gender and Authenticity in Saudi Arabia.” Journal of Communication. 59, (2009): 345-66. Print.
Tomlinson, John. “Homegenisation and Globalization”. History of European ideas, 20.4-6, (1995):891-897. Print.