World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010


Mediatic Culture and Television (044) - Panel

· Date: MON 19, 5-7 pm

· Language: English / Français

· Description:

Paper presenter: Senem Gençtürk Hızal / Şebnem Pala Güzel (Assistant Professors, Baskent University, Turkey), "Media industry in Turkey: a conundrum".
From the 1980’s neo-liberal economic policies in parallel with the process of deregulation, which has started reducing the restraint placed by government on economic activity and elimination of legally sanctioned monopolistic structures of the economy, has caused drastic transformations in the climate of the media industry with the illusions of more competition and more freedom of expression. In the aftermath of privatization, the organizations, the capital and the investors/owners changed with a great deal during the successive governments. For the last three decades, commercially driven market have eventuated in the domination of a few media conglomerates in an oligopolistic media market with its own elites and government entities with private components. Due to years of strong financial support and protection of the particular media owners by the governments there has appeared a symbiosis between media conglomerates and the government. Accordingly, the present government ruled by Justice and Development Party in Turkey which came to power with the bulk of votes in the last two election period has supported and protected ‘new islamic media elites’ who also have engaged in wide scope of economic activity within several industries. With the eminent articulations of these media organizations with political power, there appears to be a split in the media market as ‘opponents’ and ‘proponents’ of the present government. This leads to the necessity to scrutinize the relationship between media and power within this socio-political and historical context. The main foci of this paper are the future prospects of the concentration of ownership in either ‘opponents’ or ‘proponents’ plane.

Paper Presenter: Haana Nasserzadeh (Freelance Journalist) “Communication Disorders In Iran”
Haana Naserzadeh Communication disorders in IranMedia's deliberative disturbance in social solidarity during last decades in Islamic republic of Iran resulted in vehement reactions to opposition Here I would shed light on the Misuse of the governmental broadcasting system in Islamic republic of Iran, in sense of distraction of national solidarity of Iranians during three decades after Islamic revolution in 1979.Foreigner observers and the Iranian generation who born out of Iran due to their parent's immigration; may feel puzzled to find the reasons behind ,while search or concentrate on the unbelievably vulnerable solidarity among Iranians inside the country. People, who rose up with any single cultural products made by directors of the only entitled broadcasting system of Iran running by the biased programmers .where the products out of governmental supervision will not get the permission to be produced or broadcast and cannot find the financial sponsor and investors .besides, directors and writers would be subjected being entered to the black list of the' other' as poses against the concept of the ' self' to wall between government and its followers and the rest of the country. In the resent years, with emergence of the satellite and extension of access to the worldwide internet system, concrete changes have occurred though, which have been considered in this writing.

Paper Presenter:Medjahdi Mustapha (Chercheur, CRASC-Oran, Algérie) « Culture locale et culture médiatique : Les usages et la réception comme formes d'interactions »
Les interactions entre la culture locale et la culture télévisuelle, se manifestent à travers les usages et les formes de réception. Elles s’inscrivent dans les pratiques télévisuelles des individus. Parmi les différentes catégories sociales, nous avons focalisé sur les jeunes, en considérant ces acteurs comme porteurs des valeurs et des normes de cette culture traditionnelle. L’activité de l’usage et de la réception est le moment de mettre la culture locale en interaction avec la culture télévisuelle, à savoir les jugements des chaînes, et des séquences. Plus encore, dans certaines familles, la distribution de l’espace selon les convergences entre la nature des programmes, et les rôles sociaux produits sur la distinction entre les sexes (Genre).En somme, cette étude essaie d’analyser comment le contexte socioculturel s’approprie les usages et la réception pour assurer la continuité du système ‘ Et l’intervention des niveaux de médiations dans l’orientation des usages télévisuels des jeunes et propagent les lectures oppositionnelles et négociées. Pour étudier l’impact des niveaux de médiations, nous considérons les Imams comme leaders d’opinion, du moment qu’ils sont en permanence dans une campagne de sensibilisation contre tout ce qui touche au sacré. L’activité des Imams représente une intervention directe en matière de lutte contre les sens diffusés par les médias. Ces acteurs considèrent majoritairement, les programmes occidentaux comme intentionnels, et insèrent cette diffusion dans la continuité du choc des cultures et des religions. Chacun des Imams, nous a raconté au cours des interviews son expérience avec les jeunes et comment ces derniers viennent demander son avis et ses conseils sur les différentes séquences télévisuelles. Dans cette situation le jeune négocie le sens et donne à l’imam l’opportunité pour soumettre le sens des séquences aux jugements religieux. Ces entrées montrent comment la culture locale s’oppose aux industries culturelles par plusieurs formes, à travers les institutions sociétales et par des formes de confrontation. Cela permet au conformisme social et religieux de se structurer de plus en plus ; incitant à la préservation de l’identité et assurer la continuité du système social pas comme ensemble d’individus, mais comme une entité culturelle. La présente étude a touché par questionnaire 500 jeunes des deux sexes, une dizaine d’Imams (par guide d’entretien).La technique des focus groupe a été adoptée pour interviewer des jeunes de trois domaines différents (les étudiants de la chariâa(lois islamiques), des étudiants de l’école des beaux arts, et des jeunes n’ayant aucun lien avec la formation universitaire).

Paper Presenter: Xenia Gleissner (PhD Candidate, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK) “Communication Channels of UAE media audiences: Oprah Winfrey's "Women in Dubai"”
On the 21st October 2009, in a show entitled “Women around the World”, the famous television host Oprah Winfrey interviewed the UAE doctor, mother, and housewife Dr. Lamees Hamdan via skype. When the show aired almost a month later on the Arabic Channel MBC4 , Dr Hamdan and Oprah faced serious objections to their perceived misrepresentation of Dubai. Numerous complaints from UAE citizens eventually led the producers of the Oprah Show, Harpo, to apologise for their misrepresentative portrayal of the Emirate. The proposed paper intends to examine which channels of communication were used to discuss the Oprah show at different times after its airing, as well as which aspects of the show attracted the most attention (and criticism). The analysis is based on interviews with 80 students from two of the largest universities in the UAE, as well as quantitative data collated by an online survey of 100 participants conducted in November and December 2009 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Scholars’ observations from other Middle Eastern countries and the rise of grassroots journalism and media (such as blogs, Facebook, and online forums) will also be used in the analysis. The collated data will show how an Emirati media community reacts to a perceived challenge to their shared identity and which channels they use to communicate, and thereby strengthen, their notion of their imagined community. It will also demonstrate how exterior economic factors influence communication channels within a community: Blackberry alerts were the primary source of information for UAE students in the aftermath of the show’s airing.The analysis shows the dynamics of what Scheff calls ‘warm circles of community’ (Scheff, 1990, p.2) which constitute and strengthen a shared Emirati identity not through enforced rituals, school curricula, or state controlled media but through grassroots media. The reaction to Oprah’s show exemplifies how a media event can enforce an ‘awareness’ of ‘shared’ standards and values. Two major criticisms of Dr. Hamdan’s description of Emirati society and life have emerged: the first concerns Hamdan’s contention that UAE citizens aren’t charged for utilities, which Emiratis feel enforces stereotypes of citizens of oil-rich societies living luxuriously; the second, raised by female students in particular (in the focus groups), was Dr. Hamdan’s comment that head coverings (adopted by most Emirati women) were a cultural phenomenon, which are perceived by the majority of the research participants as a religious obligation. Analysis line and the Academic Objectives of the paper proposal “Communication Channels of UAE media audiences: Oprah Winfrey's ‘Women in Dubai’”. The paper follows two lines of analysis:
1.) A critical discourse analysis of the reactions to the Oprah Winfrey show, containing official media channels, such as newspapers and television from the UAE, as well as grassroots’ media channels, such as internet and blackberry alerts.
2.) A quantitative media analysis which shows which media channels have been used by audiences to spread their opinions within which timeframe.
The analysis will show how a media text (the actual television show) is perceived and transformed into new media content, and thus reinterpreted by members of a media community and their usage of alternative media channels. The example of the Oprah Winfrey show exemplifies a wider pattern of media audiences in the UAE, which is based on social media rather than the traditional television channels and newspapers. Within a context of media analysis in the Middle East the result of the analyses will contribute to a better evaluation of contemporary media usage and audience behaviour in the region. Unlike papers on blogs and mobile phone usage in other Arab Countries (see e.g. David M. Faris on the Facebook revolution in Egypt, 2009), the diffusion and usage of social media in the Gulf Region has so far not been subjected to any discourse analysis. The objective of the proposed paper is therefore to illustrate particularities of social media usage in the UAE by analyzing one example for a media event which caused strong media reaction.

Paper Presenter: Basma El-Bathy (Teaching Assistant, Wayne State University, USA) “Reform in the Name of God: The Ideal Woman as Constructed in Egyptian Religious TV Shows”
On February 15, 2010, the association of the Egyptian Council of State, which encompasses the country's administrative courts, voted with overwhelming majority against appointing women as judges in its apparatus; out of 380 judges, 334 voted against such appointments, 42 voted in favor and 4 abstained from voting all together. Egyptian women found themselves barred from key legal positions due to the prevailing interpretation of Islamic law in regards to women's leadership capacity. This setback reflects the ongoing struggle of the Muslim world to find a constructive equilibrium between transforming social forces and remaining faithful to their authentic cultural heritage of which Islam is a particular landmark. At the same time in Egypt, a new trend of young and ''modern'' religious media preachers are emerging and gaining monumental popularity. Claiming a following among young Egyptians are Moez Masoud and Mustafa Hosny who are expanding the discourse beyond the traditional to address key concerns of their audience among which are gender and women in Islam in a modern context. Part of their success to attract the young's interest is their self presentation that comes off as no different from the typical young Egyptian, in jeans and a polo using the non-formal colloquial Arabic, but impressing with a wealth of knowledge; however, do their methods and messages suffice to claim a decisively progressive impact on society's outlook toward women's capacity? Focusing on the abovementioned preachers? shows, this paper argues that while the discourse may be gradual in some aspects and still patriarchal in its framing, that it nevertheless constitutes a democratizing force in Egyptian society vis-à-vis women. This research analyzes the impact of the crossroad between the interpretation of shari'a and the role of the media on young Egyptians' religious attitudes and understandings in regards to women's rights and potential by exploring the following questions: How is gender constructed and treated by these new preachers? Are there particular roles, responsibilities, obligations and/or limitations assigned per gender in these programs' interpretation of Islam? What is the ideal Muslim female that they perpetuate and what are her rights? What textual sources do the young preachers rely on as supporting evidence? What role do women play in these programs whether as co-hosts, writers, directors or engaged audience?

Paper presenter: Nino Kvirikashvili (PhD student, Iv. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia), "The function analysis of participles in the Media Arabic".
It’s a well-known fact, that participle, as a syncretic form of noun and verb is widely used because of its various semantic meanings. The main goal of the present work is to investigate and to show all those syntactic constructions where participles occur in the texts of Media Arabic. The data is taken from the newspapers and magazines issued in different Arabic countries (Al-Arab Al-Yawm - Jordan, Al-Safir - Lebanon, Al-Ahram - Egypt, Al-Furat - Syria and etc.). In the language of media participles may be substantivised and adjectivised, but at the same time they have verbal characteristics. Substantival and adjectival participles, as well as participles proper, bear all those syntactical functions as nouns and adjectives do, but the use of the adjectival participle as an attribute is actualized. A certain part of participles acts as predicates: in this case structure of a sentence is nominal and a participle maintains character of a verb. Given the fact that in a nominal sentence a participle-predicate has no fixed time reference (is extratemporal), it can indicate the present, the past and the future tenses (this has to be interpreted from context), though priority is attached to the present and future tenses. One of the functions of the participle as a tense form is to indicate actual present, namely an action indicated by it is currently in progress at the moment of speaking; we can call it also the immediate present; this leads to the widespread use of the participle to indicate the action that is simultaneous with the main action. In these cases it is frequently difficult to differentiate when the participle and when the corresponding verb (the finite form) must be used. Often both are interchangeable and are consequently to be regarded as stylistic variants. As to the verbs which indicate a state, the participle or an adjective derived from the same verb is preferred, accordingly with regard to the verbs which indicate both an event and a state, the finite verbal form indicates the event and the participle indicates the state. In conclusion it should be noted that all functions, which are manifested by the participles in the texts of Media Arabic are generally typical of the literary Arabic language. At the same time the use of participles as an attributive and as a verb is actualized and is specific for this kind of texts as a whole.