What role does global media play in this youth identity issue? Essay Example

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Role of Global Media in Youth Identity Issues

Role of Global Media in Youth Identity Issues


Arabia kingdom has been undergoing a wide range of social and cultural transformations over the last decade. The country has experienced a relaxation in a number of religious laws, a strong push for women’s rights and a rise in popularity of United States. These changes have been caused by the broad utilization of global social media especially by the youth.

Harsh religious laws as a key cultural issue facing youths in Saudi Arabia

A key issue affecting youths in Saudi Arabia is the oppressive nature of the religious laws. Religious laws are normally administered by commission for prevention of vice and promotion of virtue, and the Saudi Arabia religious police. The religious police put into effect the separation of women and men, stern dress codes, observance of everyday prayers as well as other elements of the shariah law. The religious police usually use repressive restrictions upon Saudi Arabia nationals, especially on young women. For instance in 2002, fifteen young women died in a fire incident after the religious police hindered efforts to let them get out of a burning house since were dressed improperly (Cummins & Martin, 2015).

Another assault case occurred in 2007 when several religious police beat a young man to death in his house for suspicion that he was in possession of liquor. The religious police have also attempted to restrict use of internet and to prohibit the use of camera phones. There have been reforms in religious police whereby they have been outlawed to confiscate personal items and smart phones and impediment in their capability to harm citizens. Nevertheless, these reforms haven’t stopped prevented religious police from imposing their cruel understanding of Islam (Cummins & Martin, 2015).

Role of global media in oppressive religious laws

The global media has played a significant role in helping youths to resist oppression by religious police. A huge number of youths are on global social websites such as YouTube, facebook and twitter. Social media websites give Saudi Arabia citizens an avenue to oppose against the government. In Saudi Arabia, demonstrations are strictly forbidden but global social media offers youths a means to peacefully declare their aggravations (Cummins & Martin, 2015). According to Buckingham(2008) technology is transforming societal relationships, the economy as well as immense spheres of private and public life. From technological determinism view, technology is viewed to have impacts and to cause psychological and social changes regardless of the manners in which it is utilized.

Smith and Marx (2010) note that technological determinism tries to show technical developments, technology and media as the major movers in social change. Majority explanations of technological determinism has notions that technological development itself a traceable, predictable path mainly beyong political or cultural influence and that technology has effects upon societies which are innate, other that socially conditioned since societies organize themselves to support and develop technology (Smith & Marx, 2010)

Buckingham (2008) notes that the novel digital generation consider technology as a liberation force for youngsters, a scheme for them to go past the restraining influence of their seniors, and to develop novel autonomous types of community and communication. Social media websites have played a major function in civic matters like criticisms of women’s rights and religious police. Even though it remains unlawful to Saudi Arabia citizens to hold demonstrations citizens share their thoughts on the internet via social media (Cummins & Martin, 2015).


Oppression of youth by religious police is a key issue affecting youths in Saudi Arabia. The religious police usually use repressive restrictions upon Saudi Arabia nationals, especially the youth. However, global social media has become an avenue through which individuals can protest against the government and harsh acts of the religious police. Since it is illegal to hold public demonstrations, citizens presently use social media websites to protest against oppressive acts of religious police.


Cummins, J., & Martin, L. (2015). Social Media, Public Opinion, and Security Cooperation in Saudi Arabia. The DISAM Annual, December 2015.

Buckingham, D.(2008). “Introducing Identity.” Youth, Identity and Digital Media. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Smith M., & Marx, L. (2010). Does Technology Drive History? The Dilemma of Technological Determinism. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.