1.1 Background to the Study
The role of technological development in society has long been an interesting area and an important intellectual issue for both academics and researchers. The influence of technological development is changing the present world very rapidly. Changes are taking place in all spheres of life and ultimately changing the social and cultural belief systems. Technological advancement is the one which is playing a major role for this change. The introduction of satellite television is one of the dimensions of this technological advancement which has a definite effect on the social and cultural area of Bangladesh. For these changes, human behavior is also changing and therefore, the study of changes in the human behavior is becoming more important in the present business world. Shamsher and Abdullah, (2012).
Decades of studies on the consequences of mass media exposure demonstrate that effects are varied and reciprocal, the media impact audiences and audiences also impact media by the intensity and frequency of their usage. The results of mass media for promoting social change, especially in developing countries, have become important for public health.
Finnegan, (1997) have identified three effects or functions, of media:
(1) The knowledge gap,
(2) Agenda setting, and
(3) Cultivation of shared public perceptions.
Like other countries in the world the emergence of satellite television brings significant impact on the country, society and particularly on cultural mores and values (Fahmy, 1997 and Amin, 2001). In this regard, Harbi (1996) suggested that there is a positive correlation between satellite exposure and adoption of Western values and that satellite viewing causes ostentation, distortion, and ambiguity.
Labib (2001) stated that there is no solid evidence yet to prove the influence of satellite television, but he does not deny the anecdotal evidence to suggest an influence on women and girls in fields such as fashion and clothing as well as fast food consumption.
However, El Fawal (2001) indicates that satellite television affects reading habits and radio listening in general. He demonstrates how television undermines the national identity and overrides the local traditions through the various transnational communications and media networks (Shamsher and Abdullah, 2012).
According to Zia (2007), satellite television viewership is no more restricted to the upper/middle class only; with the availability of low-priced television and cable connection, it has become a common household facility for the lower class as well.
Viewers have access to a variety of channels from local to foreign, which provide them an opportunity to watch all types of programs. These media sources expose viewers to new information about the outside world and other ways of life, which may affect attitudes and behaviors (Gentzkow and Shapiro, 2004) (Olken, 2006).
Numerous research studies have been conducted to observe the impact of satellite television on viewers, particularly on their behavior. Bukhari, (2002), Malik and Naseem, (2001). Due to easy access to satellite channels, low cost and a huge interest of television viewership for entertainment purposes have created the rapid growth of satellite television all over the world. Zia, (2007).
Media impacts on various social, economic, political and cultural areas, is one of the concerns and sensitivities of politicians. Identity, beliefs and values of a community have been affected by various sociability sources including group media such as T.V, internet and especially satellite in recent years. By appearing satellite, globalization as a process which is the product of communication global industry, has become the origin of community variations and has led to cultures transnational. Thompson, (2000).
An issue which has attracted the attention of many scholars, pundits, and politicians around the world is negative or positive effects of satellite programme contents on the status of humans’ social life especially the youths. Some people believe that, using satellite is an opportunity and knowledge for cultural/social communications, political participation, creativity and innovation and e.t.c. and some other emphasize on disadvantages and negative points of the satellite. There are some concerns about cultural invasion to religious and national culture in due to increasing use of satellite equipment and increasing rate of benefiting direct broadcast satellite programs. Larijani, and Malekitabar, (2007).
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