Caveat: We only recently received IRB; still work in progress;
Bias toward the upper class; But infact the bias is relatively moderate
The Impact of Electronic Communications on Qatari Family Values
Working paper: “The Impact of Electronic Communications on Qatari Family Values”Social & Economic Survey Research Institute International Conference on Survey Research in the Gulf.February 28-March 1, 2011Doha, State of Qatar<br />Dalal K. Al-Thani, Researcher<br />MiodragStamboldziev, Researcher<br />Dr. Mark A. Farha, Faculty Mentor, Director of Project<br />Please do not copy or redistribute <br />without written permission of authors<br />
Introduction<br />Objective:<br /><ul><li>This paper attempts to gauge the impact of the sudden profusion of internet media and other forms of global electronic communications on family values in the rapidly globalizing state of Qatar.</li></ul>Hypothesis we are examining (Norris/Inglehart):<br /><ul><li>Increased exposure to global communications will spawn individualism, and secular rational values in place of traditional-religious and communal identities.</li></li></ul><li>Methodology<br />Literature Review: <br /><ul><li>Norris and Inglehart
Putnam</li></ul>Local newspaper articles <br />Official published data <br /><ul><li>Supreme Council on Family Affairs, Qatar Statistics Authority, ICT Qatar</li></ul>Our Own Survey <br /><ul><li>Created with Survey Monkey, commenced in February 2011</li></li></ul><li>Survey<br /><ul><li>Target group
Approved by Georgetown University’s Institutional Review Board (IRB)</li></li></ul><li>…target group…<br />Participants profile:<br /><ul><li>52 Qatari nationals (so far)</li></li></ul><li>…the Rapid Rise in Disposable Income In Qatar…<br />Qatar SCFA 2006 Sample (N=1600)<br /> Our Findings 2011 (N=52)<br />Relative distribution of Qatari families under different income classes (in per cent)<br />Distribution of surveyed participants under different income classes (in per cent)<br />Noora Al Merekhi (2009) Income Distribution Trends among Families in the State of Qatar<br />
Qatar’s Three-Pronged Path to Globalization & Self-Expression<br />2. Economic <br />PROSPERITY<br />(Hydrocarbon, Dev.)<br />1. Political<br />STABILITY<br />(Diplomacy)<br />3. Social<br />GLOBALIZATION<br />(Education, ICT)<br />Marked Rise in Disposable Income for a majority of Social Segment in past 2 decades<br />(see previous slide) <br />Citizens experience<br />their lives as <br />safe and secure<br />New Sources of Information and Socialization (schools/universities, internet, social networks)<br />Greater propensity to exit communal cocoon<br />Greater trust placed in outside world <br />New Emphasis on autonomy.<br />Rising SELF-EXPRESSIVE view on INDIVIDUAL potentials<br />Growing Emphasis on HUMAN CHOICE <br />COSMOPOLITAN orientations (even though traditional values are still cherished)<br />
Qatar in the Twilight Between Communal and Individual Paradigms<br />Source: <br />Inglehardt R and Welzel C. (2005) Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy<br />
Globalization as the multiplication of choices<br />Source: <br />Inglehardt R and Welzel C. (2005) Modernization, Cultural Change and Democracy<br />
Yet individualism and independence are prized<br />
Existential Security and Exposure to ICT increases outside kinship trust<br />
Connected Qatar<br />Salem and Mourtada, Arab Social Media Report, Facebook Usage: Factors and Analysis, Dubai School of Government: January 2011. <br />
Our subjects are connected 24/7<br />“we always stay connected through phones…”<br />
The Internet is equally used as a pastime and as a necessity<br />
… but it’s social repercussions are viewed in a negative light…<br />“I see that in a lot of the youth of Qatar nowadays, as far as I can tell, they prefer to twit each other rather than sit with each other.”<br />
Watching TV in Qatar is largely a social affair<br />“I think technology only adds to keeping in touch with friends via social networks, it does not take away from your face-to-face socializing.”<br />
Arabic is losing the battle against English in the ICT arena<br />
Women’s emancipation as equal citizens is fully endorsed…<br />
…but not without caveats/”Cultural Firewalls”<br />
Dwindling demography with increasing economic development: TFR per woman<br />Sources: (Alan Richards and John Waterbury, 2008), 73. (Singapore), (Statistik, 2008). Listed population figures refer to the year of 2007.<br />
Core findings of survey<br /><ul><li>Relationship between Social and Economic Capital is not seen as a zero-sum game. Responses indicate that increased income and connectivity is not linear to individualism and secularity.
Rates of ICT and Facebook penetration need not necessarily result in similar degrees of isolation and alienation as in other societies due to the social context, strong kinship ties and continued identification with traditional norms.
Very strong individualism alongside equally strong desire to maintain and nurture traditional loyalties to family, religion and nation.
Correlation of income/education/connectivity and cosmopolitanism is confirmed (Norris).
Correlation of “existential security” and trust in foreigners is confirmed (Inglehardt/Moaddel/Tessler) Higher income and Internet connectivity have dovetailed, both contributing to a reduction of xenophobia and greater trust placed in outsiders.
Internet has become the prime source of news (replacing TV and print media)
Respondents are not distrustful of foreigners, but exhibit “healthy” concern over social influence of the communication revolution.</li></li></ul><li>Limitations of survey<br /><ul><li>Limited Number of Subjects (n=52) resulted in slight biases of sample (high class/education distortion)
Proxy measures through other studies with larger pool of subjects validate many findings and show that our respondents are fairly representative in giving a cross-section of Qatari society. (Azmi, SCFA, ICT etc.)
This is very much a work in progress as we only received IRB approval 3 weeks ago. We plan to solicit further responses to widen our pool of subjects and spread of responses.</li></li></ul><li>Acknowledgements<br /><ul><li>Undergraduate Research Experience Program, Qatar National Research Fund
Research Administration, School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Georgetown University
Professor Mark A. Farha, School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Georgetown University </li></li></ul><li>Questions<br />