Satellitization of Arab Media: Perceptions of Changes in Gender Relations

Author(s) Anne Sofie Roald
Contact Anne Sofie Roald, Malmö University, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 10, Iss. 1, 2016, pp. 87-114
Published May 10, 2016
Type Article
Abstract This article explores how students living in East Amman in Jordan perceive a link between global television entertainment and social changes, particularly changes in gender relations. The study relies on a questionnaire distributed among university students in Amman in 2009 and 2010 with 946 Muslim respondents, and focus group discussions and individual interviews with 44 Muslim students living in East Amman in 2013. The theoretical framework for the discussion is cultivation theory, moral panic, and audience reception. The main conclusion from this study is that many students believe that watching television makes viewers see ‘reality’ in view of TV programs. Another conclusion is that students seem to tailor their use of television according to their own needs. A third conclusion is that many students experience moral panic and see global television as an attack on cultural values. Other students, however, welcome global television’s transmission of what they consider new liberal ideas. The students’ experience is that television entertainment products such as Turkish and American films and series, have an actual impact on social changes linked to gender relations in the East Amman society. The impact of global TV on local society is envisioned as being either “good” or “bad”.
Keywords gender, media studies, youth, satellite TV, popular culture, Jordan