Countering cultural hegemony: Audience research in the Arab world | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 6, Issue 2-3
  • ISSN: 1751-9411
  • E-ISSN: 1751-942X



The article provides a critical review of Arab scholarship on audience studies, focusing on the themes and different traditions adopted by Arab scholars, such as positivism versus cultural studies. Drawing on several examples of audience studies in the Arab world, I argue that this type of research has been influenced by the call to document and counter western cultural hegemony. While the majority of these studies quantitatively measure media consumption in terms of time used on these media and type of programmes watched, the underpinning assumption is the need to counter the negative impact of imported cultural programmes on Arab audiences, particularly youth. I argue that Arab researchers here are situated as experts detached from the audiences, thereby positioning themselves in a knowledge hierarchy above the subjects of their research. The review shows the implied view of Arab audiences as passive receivers of information, and potential victims of the recent technological innovation of communication.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Arab audience; cultural hegemony; diaspora; media research; positivism
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