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Volume :16 Issue : 61 1998      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Globalization and Cultural Identity: A Theoretical Conceptualization for the Study of the Society of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula (in Arabic)

Auther : Sulayman Najm Khalaf

This paper uses globalization as a theoretical conceptualization for the study of socio-economic and cultural transformations now occurring in Gulf and Arabian peninsula. Particular focus is given to the question of cultural identity as it forms and unfolds within the larger contexts of globalization processes. The paper is in two parts. The first part contains a discursive review of globalization concepts, both as a world phenomenon and as a theoretical construct used by increasing numbers of social scientists in their studies of present social and cultural change. The theoretical ideas of Ronald Robertson and Arjun Appadurai receive particular attention as they represent significant contributions in the development of globalization as a relevant theoretical formulation for analyzing ongoing global/ local dynamics.

The second part examines Gulf Arab society as a particular societal type, and then draws on five ethnographic examples to illustrate the dynamics generated by individuals and groups as they reconstruct their cultural identity when it is affected by multiple global forces and situations. These examples are the planning of Arab Gulf cities, diversity of cultural discourses, the international chain hotel, the culture of global media, and heritage revival. They show the complexity of the reconstruction of the cultural identity process, and take account of adaptation, accommodation and forms of synthesis within global cultural homogenization processes. They also show forms of disjunctures, rebellions and situations of cultural relativization and heterogenization that are currently occurring within the local culture of Gulf Arab society.

 

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