Impact of globalisation on Qatari youth

 24 Apr 2017 - 17:08

“Aloo” ... what language do you think this is? If you think this is English then you are wrong. Arab youth are highly exposed to the western culture and media, which makes them try to mix between the two cultures, the Arab and western cultures. So this word is actually a mixture of the two languages, Arabic and English. It is originally an English word, but with an Arabic twist to it.

Arab youth use such words in their everyday conversations and added them to their dictionary. This word is taken from the English word “Hello”, where Arab people start their phone conversations with it.

The Arab youth have created a new identity for themselves, to be identified with, due to the global world we are living in and the easy access of media, as they want to cope with the modern world, by trying to manage between the two cultures.

The Arab youth are following a new lifestyle, that is different from that of their ancestors, so they are almost creating a new culture. In Qatar specifically, some children are now raised or depend on the western culture and lifestyle, as they join English schools from a very young age.

Many Qatari children talk in English, and feel hesitation when they speak in Arabic, which is the common language in their country. They start listening to English songs, following western news, TV series, movies, and many are not interested in Arabic media, on which they prefer the foreign as they cannot understand it. This shows how they are trying to develop a new identity.

Some young Qataris grew up speaking in English, and find it hard to talk in Arabic language, which is their families’ mother tongue. So most of them find it hard to communicate with their family members who are not able to speak in English, and in most of the times, it is the elder members of the family, such as their grandparents. There would be a lack of communication between the two generations, which leads to missing many aspects of the authentic culture.

Globalisation is the main reason behind the facilitating of the interaction and the access to media from different parts of the world, as the youth are highly exposed to media from different regions, the western media in particular, as it is the most dominating among the different media.

Due to this, the youth are facing uncertainty, where they are trying to cope between the two cultures, and the difference in lifestyles. They are dispersed between the two cultures, which led them to create their own identity to be defined with.

There is a significant impact by the media on Arab youth that is still expanding on a huge level and reaching to more people. This impact is not only on the cultural level, but also on the social, economic, political, and religious level, as they are trying to change their own identity and lifestyle, to a whole new one.

By creating a new identity that is mixed between the two cultures, the Arab youth are trying to mix between the global and the local at the same time. In other words, their identity has been glocalized.

As referred to by Wank and Farrer “Glocalization” shows the relationship between the global and the local, where they try to adapt a global phenomenon on a local level. Which is exactly what is happening to the Arab youth with creating a new identify due to the significant impact of the western media on them. .

The writer is communication student at Northwestern University in Qatar.