The Gulf region has seen a dramatic social, political, and economical change since development of the oil in the 1940s. However, as a result of the society solely relied on oil industry for its development, social change had not followed the general s ...
The Gulf region has seen a dramatic social, political, and economical change since development of the oil in the 1940s. However, as a result of the society solely relied on oil industry for its development, social change had not followed the general steps of other nations had. For example, Bahrain and Kuwait has undergone modernization process more than 100 years, however, traditional values and custom still dominate the society. In other words, even though the Gulf society enjoys material abundance and luxurious life as a result of influx of oil money and modernization, the society marks domination of traditional values and religious ideology until now.
Today, since the modernization process in the Gulf region, the development and spread of global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) became another important factor that leads social change in the Gulf region. The Gulf region meets the requirements of spreading new media as the countries in the region accumulate capital needed for ICT related infrastructure construction based on the profits of oil industry. However, what should be paid attention is that the governments in the Gulf region have controlled the quality and quantity of information gained from the Internet and satellite TV because it became a source that threatens government existence and Islamic values. On the contrary of the government expectation, controlling the information mechanism by the government raised more curiosity among the young people in the region and it weakened the government control in the field of information technology. Among many other information mechanisms, firstly, satellite TV, which is one-to-many system, played the role of breakthrough from the 'close' to 'open' society. Secondly, the Internet, which is many-to-many system, penetrated deeply into the society and changed the society.
Considering the background of the researched society and development of technology in the Gulf region, the research team had explored the social change of the Gulf region as a result of spread of satellite TV in the first research year and Internet in the second research year, especially focusing on the participation of women in the New media. In the first year, the research team had done literature review with regard to satellite TV in the Gulf region and carried out field work about the impact of satellite TV on the youth. The research targeted the university students in the region. As for the second year, the research team had done literature review with regard to Internet culture in the Gulf region and carried out field work about the impact of Internet on the youth in the region, again with the same sample.