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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The culture of commercialism: Globalization in the UAE
by Al-Khazraji, Nathan, M.A.L.S., Georgetown University, 2009, 90; 1465759
Abstract (Summary)

This study sought to examine how and in what manner the pressures of commercial globalization have impacted the traditional and historical heritage of the local national population of the United Arab Emirates. Utilizing a cultural methodology of analysis, it appears that the very traditional segments of society such as tribal relationships and decision making patterns, the sense of Arabic and Emirati identity, and the general status of women in the workforce have seemingly remained relatively unchanged by commercial globalization. In addition, many of the UAE's cultural industries appear to have survived the age of modernization, the wave of consumerism, and the rapid influx of immigration that has swept the oil wealthy nation at an unprecedented pace.

However, there do appear to be other areas of society that have exhibited relative change. While the progress of women in the workforce has not been altered dramatically, new opportunities in formalized education and limited choices in nontraditional careers for female Emiratis seem to be viable options today rather than in the past. New cultural industries have begun to emerge as a result of the Emirates' collective push to become a regional hub for entertainment and the fine arts. In many cases, a Western approach to business management has begun to take root in an effort to promote the efficiency and effectiveness of the enormous numbers of third country national expatriate workers that have helped shape key infrastructure programs in the UAE and continue to ensure that they remain stable and secure.

By applying the cultural method of analyzing globalization, it appears as if Emirati society has struck a balance between commercialism and traditionalism, neither moving toward a heterogeneous dilution of societal values and norms nor strictly holding on to the status quo of years past. Instead, the UAE has adopted and accepted many of the commercial realities of a global culture while sustaining the traditional yet progressive vision of Sheikh Zayid Al-Nahyan, the founder and first president of the nation. As such, it is to be expected that the UAE will continue this trend of seeking the benefits of a modern, progressive, and innovative financial apparatus and infrastructure while continuing to maintain a very real and sincere focus on the cultural heritage, religious foundation, and communal relationships that have made the UAE one of the most intriguing social, economic, and political success stories in recent years.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anthony, John D.
School: Georgetown University
Department: Liberal Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 47/06M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Sociology
Keywords: Commercialism, Culture, Globalization, UAE, United Arab Emirates
Publication Number: 1465759
ISBN: 978-1-109-25848-6
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