The relationship between the question of cultural imperialism in the Third World and the import of popular media programmes
This study, as the title suggests, attempts to shed some light on the Cultural Imperialism debate, paying special reference to the question of the increasing tendency in many parts of the Third World to import popular drama programmes, particularly from the United States. This increasing tendency is, in fact, one of the main factors which has led to renewed interest in this debate on an international level. The study focuses on Egypt as a study case, which represents most of the characteristics of the situation in the Third World. The study attempts to provide empirical evidence to the Cultural debate by using two approaches: The first, to obtain a detailed picture of the extent and nature of the world of drama production, foreign as well as local, portrayed on Egyptian prime-time television and radio. The second, to obtain a similar picture of the conditions which have led to the increase in the level of foreign drama import in Egypt the reaction of the audience to such programmes, how they perceive the world of the drama they watch, how they perceive the world around them and how the media relate to them generally, i.e. their values, attitudes, pattern of consumption etc. and what use if any do they make of media programmes in general and foreign production, in particular. The data, on both levels, has been collected through the application of quantitative as well as qualitative methods. While a sample of the audience was studied through the use of Survey and Discussion Group methods, a sample of drama programmes was analyzed through the use of Content as well as Structural Analysis methods. The object of this exercise is to show both the similarity and difference between local and foreign drama production. It also aims to show whether or not messages purveyed through these programmes are congruent with the cultural outlook of the audience. In so doing, this could possibly help to assess the role played by imported media programmes with regard to the question of "destruction" or otherwise of the indigenous cultures of the Third World and their role in developing and maintaining new values and ideas among the audience. In other words, it could provide the empirical basis necessary when arguing for or against the call for cultural dissociation of the Third World from the World Cultural market.