The use of social media like Facebook among young Arab women is creative and innovative
Manama: The use of social media like #Facebook among young Arab women is creative and innovative, a new study has shown.
According to the research, conducted by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q), young Arab ladies have a deep respect for the community and the family and are discerning when it comes to deciding what information should be made available to the public, a fact that leads to a high level of creativity in their use of social media.
Ivana Chalmers, NU-Q’s risk assessment specialist, and former faculty member Rodda Leage teamed up to conduct the research, which focused on social media use amongst women undergraduates at Education City, Doha, Qatari daily The Peninsula reported.
Chalmers said that the fact that girls have a high level of creativity in their use of social media, while at same time respecting cultural norms, reveals a tendency to engage with social media trends like #Facebook in socially intelligent ways. “What is really admirable is they did not want to compromise their culture and their background. Instead, they found unique and interesting ways to express themselves,” she said.
Chalmers said that the study was an important topic to consider in Qatar and the region.
“We need to look at how we fit in, how we communicate into our lives, priorities and beliefs.
We see that technology does not have to compromise culture or belief systems. Instead, young Arab women are proving that social media can be used in a different way from the West,” she said.
The study team interviewed 42 students, aged between 18 and 22, to explore the ways in which social media offer new and unfamiliar avenues to express identity. Titled ‘Degrees of Caution: Arab Girls Unveil on #Facebook’, the study has been included as a chapter in the book Girl Wide Web 2.0: Revisiting Girls, the Internet, and the Negotiation of Identity.
It will also receive the accolade of Top Paper in its Category when it’s presented at the 96th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association (NCA), a US organisation dedicated to advancing all forms of human communication, later this year. It’s the first time NU-Q has received such a distinction.
Hamid Naficy, Professor of Radio-Television-Film and in Communication at NU-Q, described the research as exciting and important. “This is a great honour received by our NU-Q pioneers, including a current member of our community and a former member of our faculty. We congratulate them on their accomplishment,” he said.
Courtesy: Gulf News